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What’s Onward This Week

Britain’s decades-long economic consensus has long run out of steam. We can no longer take a laissez-faire approach to industry and trade, prioritising efficiency over resilience, and take the impacts of hyper-globalisation as inevitable. 

What comes next? The answer isn’t to hark back to old politics; today’s challenges are different from the 1970s or 1980s. Onward’s Gavin Rice and Nick Timothy argue we need a ‘new conservative economics’ with one bold idea at its heart: reindustrialisation. 

For further proof that this agenda is popular, look to Ben Houchen’s third election victory as Tees Valley mayor. He won again thanks to a clear record of delivery and doing what he promised: green jobs, reindustrialisation and an active state.


✍️ Research

Onward’s Future of Conservative Project published its second major paper, A Conservative Economy, laying the intellectual basis for a radical shake-up of our country’s economic thinking, putting workers, families and the nation first.

Industrial decline and a lack of national savings have left Britain overly reliant on imports and foreign capital, entrenching regional imbalances. The paper makes a case for an active industrial strategy to rebuild Britain’s manufacturing base, boost exports and make it less reliant on overseas ownership of its core strategic assets. 

Onward also launched its new Science Superpower Substack this week. Allan Nixon and Anastasia Bektimirova argue that Britain needs to face reality: it can’t lead in all aspects of every frontier technology. Previewing an upcoming paper, Future Frontiers, they’ve argued for Britain to rethink its approach and get real about its AI status. Subscribe now. 


📰 Media Mentions

The Times covered Onward’s A Conservative Economy paper. Nick Timothy wrote about why Britain needs to reindustrialise in the Daily Telegraph and Michael Gove ConservativeHome wrote about why we need a new economic model. 

Onward’s Director Sebastian Payne wrote in the i in defence of Kate Forbes. She may have now ruled herself out as an SNP leadership contender, but its positioned to be a leading player again in the next administration.

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee is quoted in Politico discussing Mayor Andy Street’s election hopes.

City AM covered Onward’s call for a British Library for Data from our upcoming paper, Future Frontiers


🌐 Onward Online

Why are we struggling to be a science superpower? Head of Science and Technology Allan Nixon explains:


🗓️ Upcoming Events

- Newsletter 03/05/2024

Strong digital connectivity is essential for fully participating in today’s economy. Much progress has been made on broadband and mobile coverage in rural areas over the last decade. But for too many rural households and businesses, the lack of quality digital infrastructure continues to hinder productivity and cut people off from society. 

Several initiatives hope to close the rural connectivity gap. The Shared Rural Network is helping to deliver 4G coverage across the countryside, while the Government’s Wireless Infrastructure Strategy aims to provide nationwide 5G coverage by 2030. And the Government is targeting 1.5 million more rural premises with gigabit broadband by the end of next year. 

This event, led by the environment secretary Steve Barclay, will bring together a panel of experts to debate how the private and public sector can work together to enhance digital connectivity for rural communities to help boost their economies.  

We hope you are able to join us.

Date: Wednesday 22nd May

Time: 14:00- 15:00

Location: Central Westminster 

To sign up for this event, please click here.

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Onward After Hours is our event series for under 35s, connecting the next generation of centre-right political thinkers. These events bring together journalists, special advisers, parliamentary staffers and more, to inspire fresh thinking and build connections.  

This evening will be a great opportunity for a casual drink and a chance to discuss the policy agenda and what matters most for young voters.

We hope you are able to join us.

Date: Tuesday 21st May

Time: 18:00- 20.30

Location: Central Westminster 

To sign up for this event, please click here.


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