Nadhim Zahawi serves as Member of Parliament for Stratford on Avon, and Sir Nicholas Soames for Mid Sussex.
Over the past few months the United Kingdom has taken part in a hard fought and profoundly important debate regarding the future of our country.
It has been a debate about how best to ensure our country can tackle the problems we will face in the 21st Century; and a debate that both of us have taken part in with firm ideas and honest commitment to what we individually believe to be the best direction the United Kingdom can go in.
We are two politicians with two very different backgrounds, backgrounds which exhibit the breadth and variety of those who live in this country, love it and call it home. They are also backgrounds that have given us direct connections to Britain’s role in the 20th Century, and an understanding of our country’s importance not just in the past, but for the future.
In the last tumultuous century, Britain has had to stand firm and face down threats at home and abroad, to do our bit to help make the world a better place.
As the grandson of Winston Churchill, the greatest ever leader of this country, who defeated Nazi Germany; and having fled from Iraq as a child to be welcomed wholeheartedly by Britain after Saddam Hussein’s terrible crimes against the Kurds, we understand the role Britain has played, will play and must continue to play in global events.
We also recognise that Britain’s domestic democratic and liberal strength remains too rare a beacon in the world. Ultimately we know how important it is for Britain to be strong, for Britain to be Great.
We have been on opposing sides of this debate which has, on occasion, at times of escalation in emotion, sadly suffered a proportionate fall in quality. There have been moments when the scope of our agreement as Conservatives has been obscured by the fog.
But we now share a hope that as this fog lifts, whatever the outcome of this referendum, every Conservative Member of Parliament, activist and voter will once again be able to see the reality of the great cause that binds us together, especially when we consider the scale of future challenges.
Whatever the outcome of this referendum, we must and will still work together as a party to secure our own economic security and close our budget deficit, and whether we are part of the European Union or not, the economy of Europe will remain a concern until it recovers.
We must still work together as a party to protect our security, and whether we remain or leave, we must work with our allies around the world to stand up to Russia, find a solution in Libya and Syria, and eradicate the evil of ISIL.
We must still work together as a party to provide for our children’s future, and we must strive to improve education, enhance skills, deliver jobs, build houses and ensure everyone can retire with dignity.
None of these problems, issues or threats are small or easily solved. We are lucky that we already have a Prime Minister in place who has the ability to lead our country in the way we require, and a Government that is able to put what is necessary into action.
Whatever the outcome, we must deliver the plan our Government has set out for the future,and support a Prime Minister who won a majority just 13 short months ago and who still has a plan for the next four years.
The Queen’s Speech outlining the next year’s programme was delivered by Her Majesty only last month, and set out the next steps on the way to the higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax society that we all wish to see.
Remain or leave, we must be united. We will support this Government, and everything our party is doing to create the ‘better Britain’ that our Prime Minister described at last year’s Conference. We must respect the result, come together as a party, and work hard every single day to make tomorrow a brighter day for our children and grandchildren, to build this greater society, and to ensure our country is in the best possible shape to thrive in the 21st Century, whatever challenges we face.
Our democracy and our country are precious. They have come under threat before, and could come under threat again. We must honour the democratic process in its purest form in this referendum, and respect the decision of the voters, the electorate is always right.
And, after the dust has settled, we must work with our Prime Minister and this Conservative Government, to deliver a better society for all.