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What’s Onward This Week

The House of Lords has temporarily stalled the Government’s plan to send illegal migrants to Rwanda by amending legislation to declare that the country is safe. While Number 10 is hopeful that the first flights will take off as planned once MPs vote on the Bill again, proving that the scheme will work is only becoming more critical to the Conservatives’ election hopes. 

Rishi Sunak’s strategists hope that faced with a successful Rwanda deterrent, Labour, which consistently opposed the move, will be boxed in and out of line with public opinion on illegal immigration. It’s a risky game that Reform UK hopes to use to its advantage. But it could pay off; Westminster consistently underestimates the importance of controlling the country’s borders, and voters will reward the party that delivers.

✍️ Research

Nearing the ninetieth minute of this Parliament, the Government finally introduced the Football Governance Bill on Tuesday to establish an independent regulator for the sport. This legislation will provide a safety net for local professional football teams that risk financial collapse or are abused by unscrupulous owners.

Onward’s paper, Open Goal, revealed how Northern clubs have been particularly vulnerable to mismanagement — two-fifths of all clubs that have entered administration since 1992 were in the north. This Bill will protect the future of the sport, which is the lifeblood of so many communities.

This week, the Prime Minister also announced a £60 million plan to fully fund training for apprentices under 21 at small businesses and changes to the apprenticeship levy to allow larger employers to pass on funding to smaller firms. These are both welcome ideas from Onward’s Course Correction paper that will help increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities for young people and give school leavers the tools to succeed. 

📰 Media Mentions

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote in the i about why Rishi Sunak has no alternative but to Get Rwanda Done. 

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee was interviewed by University College London’s Policy Lab Magazine about remaking conservatism. 

Head of Energy and Environment Ned Hammond appeared before the Senedd’s Economy, Trade, and Rural Affairs Committee to talk about his farming paper, Greener Pastures.

🌐 Onward Online

Callum Newton makes the conservative case for housebuilding: 

Shivani Menon on why taxes are not spatially blind:

🗓️ Upcoming Events

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Towns and cities across the UK need additional investment to build, decarbonise, and grow. This is where patient lenders, from life insurers to pension funds, who look for long-term, socially valuable investments can help. But nationally, there are too few investable projects, meaning we miss opportunities to grow and level up.

This panel event, featuring Housing Minister Lee Rowley MP and the Purposeful Finance Commission, will discuss how local government can create more investable projects to support regeneration in towns and cities.

Date: Monday 25th March

Time: 14:30 – 15:30

Venue: Central Westminster Location

To attend this event, please sign up here.

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The UK needs to use its global leadership to press for more research and development (R&D) investment internationally to support the poorest and most vulnerable. This event with Development Minister Andrew Mitchell MP will showcase world-leading projects across the UK that benefit local communities and our neighbourhoods worldwide.

Join us in Manchester at the Science & Industry Museum for an insightful tour alongside a curator to learn more about its exhibitions and aims to inspire the future. Following the panel, there will be networking drinks to close the day.

Date: Thursday 11th April 2024

Time: 16:00- 20.00

Location: Science & Industry Museum, Manchester

To attend this event, please sign up here.

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Social enterprises spread wealth, create good jobs, protect high streets, and ease pressure on the overburdened public sector. If more businesses were mission-led, the government wouldn’t have to work so hard to mop up environmental disasters or shore up low-wage earners.

With Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake MP, this panel will bring together leading experts to discuss the nature of the problem facing the UK and firms today and what needs to change to ensure that social enterprises become more common in communities.

Date: Tuesday 16th April

Time: 13:30- 14:30

Location: Central Westminster

To sign up for this event, please click here.

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The UK needs a resilient digital economy to boost productivity, but faltering connectivity is holding us back. When vital networks break down, businesses can lose millions in minutes, and productivity crashes.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez MP joins us to explore how to expand reliable connectivity across the country to support businesses and boost productivity.

Date: Tuesday 23rd April

Time: 15:00- 16:00

Location: Central Westminster

To attend this event, please sign up here.

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