Policy Exchange’s proposal for a new law of Treason, which would help prosecute returning Isis fighters, was discussed in the House of Commons and House of Lords this week and received front page coverage in The Daily Telegraph. Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chair of the Defence Select Committee, quoted a newspaper article by Professor Richard Ekins, Head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, which said that “Parliament should restore the law of treason, specifying that it is treacherous to support a group that one knows intends to attack the UK or is fighting UK forces.” Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the Home Secretary, responded: “I have read that article and heard what Professor Ekins has said in the past, and I think that it is worth considering it carefully.” In the House of Lords, responding to a question from Lord Faulks QC, former Justice Minister, about Policy Exchange’s proposal, Baroness Barran, replying for the Government, confirmed that the Home Secretary would look at the issue carefully. Read the news report here and the original Policy Exchange paper, Aiding the Enemy: How and why to restore the law of treason.
“Beauty may have been neglected for years, but now decision-makers are moving in the right direction,” says Clare Foges in The Times. She praises Building Beautiful as “a superb collection of essays published… by the think tank Policy Exchange” and mentions contributions from the celebrated Syrian architect and author Marwa Al-Sabouni and Sir Terry Farrell, whose essay (and Times column) argued for a new generation of mansion blocks. Read the column here and the essay collection here.
Persistent disruption is endemic in English schools, according to a new study by Dr Joanna Williams, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education. In one of the most extensive investigations ever conducted into pupil behaviour, polling found that 75% of teachers think that low level disruption occurs frequently or very frequently in their schools and that 72% of them know a colleague who has “left the teaching profession because of bad behaviour”. The report, “It Just Grinds You Down”, was welcomed by Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, the Education Secretary, and media coverage included in the Guardian, Telegraph and Sun.
“Policy Exchange is… multidisciplinary, highly influential, a productive force in the heart of Westminster and our political system,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, at a Policy Exchange event with Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s Bagehot columnist, to launch their new book, Capitalism in America.
Mr Carney added: “It’s at events like this where radical thoughts challenge orthodoxy and a culture of cross-disciplinary thinking fosters the creation of new ideas.”
Britain can become an “invisible chain that links the world’s democracies” after Brexit, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said in his first UK keynote address as Foreign Secretary, at Policy Exchange. Noting that the rise of China will mean that for the first time the world’s largest economy will not be a democracy, he warned against a return to a principle of ‘might is right’ and announced an international conference on media freedom to be hosted by the UK next year. Watch the full speech here.
Policy Exchange wins prize as best UK think on Energy and Environment issues
At the prestigious annual Prospect Think Tank of the Year Awards, Policy Exchange has won best UK think tank in the Energy and Environment category. The unit’s research has ranged from the role of future nuclear modular reactors to cleaning up vehicle emissions in Britain’s cities. The judges recognised that our work paid “particular attention to the economic drivers behind environmental policy”. The same week as winning this award, the Unit published a major new report setting how the UK can reduce carbon emissions and make UK heavy industry more competitive through an economy-wide carbon tax. The work and convening power of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World unit was also recognised at the awards, with the visit by US Defense Secretary James Mattis thought particularly notable.
“The UK continues to be too timid” in its negotiations with the EU over the Backstop and its relationship to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (also known as the Belfast Agreement), says a Policy Exchange Research Note published today by Professor Guglielmo Verdirame and Professor Richard Ekins.
Twenty years after the creation of the euro, a powerful cocktail of forces have made the southern economies of Europe permanently uncompetitive compared to the northern economies and the wider international economy. Yet the currency may limp on for years yet
At a cross-party event in Parliament, Policy Exchange launched a new report, The Age of Incivility: Understanding the New Politics, and a new Civility Hub aimed at analysing the worst examples of abuse which coarsen our public discourse. Former EHRC Chairman Trevor Phillips, who co-authored the report, chaired a debate with Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, FT journalist Sebastian Payne and Labour activist Emily Benn.
Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon James Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, to our offices. Secretary Mattis discussed the current global situation, a situation which includes the threats posed by North Korea and a Russia seeking to challenge the territorial integrity of its neighbours. He also spoke of the enduring importance of the UK–US Alliance and of Britain’s continued moral voice on the world stage, as Policy Exchange argued for in The Cost of Doing Nothing. He also praised Policy Exchange’s record of thought leadership in making the case for a Global Britain’s continued commitment to NATO.
- Wednesday, 27 June, 2018
11:00 - 12:30
At a time of growing international instability, the Five Eyes intelligence arrangements (which brings the UK together with the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) is of vital important to the security of Britain and its allies. While questions are being raised over the long-term future of NATO, Five Eyes represents another crucial pillar of our national security – mitigating threats from hostile states, terrorism, and other non state actors. Why does the continuation of the Five Eyes matter and what can be done to support and enhance it for the challenges ahead?
- Thursday, 21 June, 2018
10:00 - 11:30
The UK Climate Change Act went through Parliament 10 years ago with cross-party support – marking a political consensus on climate action that has continued ever since and serving as an international template. Former Labour Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, Conservative Energy Minister Claire Perry, Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Baroness Featherstone and Climate Change Committee CEO Chris Stark were joined by a packed audience to consider how successive governments have tackled the issue and how to get to net zero carbon emissions.
- Thursday, 7 June, 2018
9:00 - 11:00
In his only public appearance on his UK visit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was interviewed by William Shawcross at Policy Exchange. Deeming the Iran nuclear deal ‘defunct’, the Prime Minister said that a realignment was taking place in the Middle East, with relations improving between Israel and Sunni nations. He also had words of praise for Presidents Trump and Obama.