David Cameron at Oslo Business Forum

A much-awaited discussion with a great leader, UK’s Ex-Prime Minister Mr David Cameron, who was involved very closely in the political scenery when the UK made the historic decision to leave EU. 


Award-winning futurist, Shivvy Jervis, welcomed UK’s Former Prime Minister, David Cameron, to Norway and Oslo Business Forum. The conversation started with a brief insight on what readers can expect from David Cameron’s new book “For the Record” and how it talks about his time as a Prime Minister and his perspective on few global talking points.


Q: What factors do you think contributed to the results of Brexit after your strong campaign against Brexit?


David replied there are many similarities between Britain and Norway such as members of Union, enthusiasm about collaboration and social impact, however, there is a major difference of political union.


He said, "They had the challenge to make everyone understand how it is better to stay in the union rather than out. We were making technical arguments, on the other hand, leave campaign made the control aspect a major issue, especially - Migration.2


David said the world should also learn from Canada because they have proved how the system should work for the nation while discussing migration.


Mr Cameron believes that we cannot get anywhere if we don’t know what people want. He also praises Justin Trudeau for his efforts and the great work he has done in Canada.


On asking what he expects the future of British Politics to look like regarding Brexit issue, Mr Cameron responds by explaining how leaving with a deal can be a good option. The government does not have a majority in the Parliament, and it will be difficult to get its way. People voted to leave however; the deal was not mentioned in the initial contract. The parliament is confident that leaving with a deal is a priority instead of not leaving.

“It is time to unblock the blockage.”

-David Cameron

Currently, parliament is hung, the government is stuck unemployment is high. People need to stay patient, open and resilient.


On asking why a smooth transition is not looking like an option, Mr Cameron shared that a partnership deal similar to Norway can be beneficial for a smooth transition, but people are not ready for a compromise. He added that even the deal produced by Theresa May was opposed by the opposition as well as by few of her party members.


When asked about his opinion on the matter he said,“While voting to leave, it will be beneficial to at least pick a deal model similar to Norway.”


He said Norway was able to stay out of the EU due to its politicians and people who believed the economic success they had. The UK can learn a lot from Norway about a settled partnership. He also believes that for handling refugee crisis in a better way, it is important to have a strong home market and strong internal borders, which in turn is possible with strong external borders. Hence, EU countries should focus on spending more on defence but they need to fight climate change as well.

Q: Why is anti-authoritarian stand gaining traction?

People voted to leave for sovereignty, control and getting out of a closed union. After the global crash, politics changed a lot. Post-2008, economically insecure people at the bottom wanted better opportunities all the while becoming culturally insecure. The major proof of that is the Trump campaign where immigration was the major drive.


Mr Cameron also talked about how he handles the responsibility of being a public figure while expressing his views freely. He believes that we all need to make important choices and take the responsibilities. 

Future-Ready approach: The greatest chance for the future of education, the future of jobs and the future of Politics

When asked about whether it is the right decision to be in Vanguard; UK’s ex-Prime Minister said that world is growing fast with innovation. Leaders also should be proactive while making a decision otherwise they will keep waiting for others to innovate and will be left behind. He supported his argument with the example of text messaging, which no one thought will have such a huge scope when mobile phones were invented. He supports open data policy and says exploring the possibilities is required for any active government. 

David Cameron’s Counsel for Next-Gen and Leaders responsible for driving change

“Think about the skills you are building.”

According to David Cameron, corporations should have the priorities towards their community – stakeholders, employees as well as the community they are serving. It is essential to embrace community responsibility rather than just meeting the CSR milestones. The only other option is to get destroyed with fast-paced technology as the next generation care more about the value they create. He feels that looking at the broader picture will help in creating value and purpose for everyone including the next generation. David ended his candid talk about politics, Brexit, personal life and opinions with Shivvy Jervis at Oslo Business Forum with a great message for the audience and future leaders, "Use skills to demonstrate value.” 

Check out the full speaker lineup for the next Oslo Business Forum!


Text by Sonal Mishra

Edited by Rosanna Bueler Mount