Evening Standard endorses first report of Policy Exchange's new unit Liveable London

The Evening Standard strongly urged the Mayor of London to read Policy Exchange’s latest report Better Brownfield, for ideas to tackle London’s housing crisis. 1,220 sites across London covering 43 Hyde Parks can between them accommodate between 250,000 and 300,000 new homes alongside workplaces, according to new analysis carried out by Create Streets for Policy Exchange. The Evening Standard strongly endorsed the report, saying “What’s smart about the report, published by think-tank Policy Exchange, is that it tries to defuse the battle over planning that makes building new homes so hard. It’s good to see a centre-Right body face the challenge of shaping London, as the Manhattan Institute does in New York.” The editorial concluded: “London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, likes to say that he’s making housing a priority. But we’re still waiting for action. He should read this report and get going.”

Policy Exchange launches Liveable London programme

Policy Exchange has launched a major new unit dedicated to London and Londoners – to be headed by Liam Booth-Smith, who joins the Policy Exchange team. Liveable London will champion new ideas to make London a better place to live and work. Accompanying the launch, Policy Exchange released a major new report – endorsed by the Evening Standard – setting out how 250,000 new homes could be built in the capital.

Getting Over the Line: Solutions to the Irish border

The Irish border is not the insoluble obstacle to Brexit negotiations that it has been made out to be and the UK can leave the single market and customs union while preserving a frictionless border in Ireland. This can be achieved by the use of new technology and in the context of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU, in an arrangement that goes beyond the Customs Partnership and in no way threatens the Good Friday Agreement. This is the argument set out in detail in this new paper by Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Graham Gudgin and former Irish diplomat Ray Bassett, which calls for the so-called ‘Max Fac option’ to be pursued by the UK Government.

As the Government deals with the Russian threat, former Prime Minister David Cameron reminds us of another: Islamism

Speaking at a Policy Exchange conference in Washington DC, former Prime Minister David Cameron warned of the continuing threat to the West posed by Islamism. Paul Goodman observed on ConservativeHome that no other UK think tank has ‘the reach to bring together 50 or so experts, wonks, and diplomats in America’s capital for an event like this’.

Foreign Secretary sets out vision for Brexit at Policy Exchange

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, set out his vision for a liberal Brexit in a speech given at Policy Exchange. Mr Johnson urged Remainers and Leavers to unite behind the opportunities that leaving the EU affords. He said that there is a case for future regulatory divergence from the EU: “We would be mad to go through this process of extrication from the EU, and not to take advantage of the economic freedoms it will bring.” In many areas, however, such as security co-operation and cultural exchange, there would continue to be high levels of engagement.

Rachel Reeves MP: Throwing a new light on loneliness

With 9 million people reporting that they are always or often lonely, as a society have we structured loneliness into our lives? Loneliness can be triggered by moments of transition that can happen to us all: the birth of a child, retirement, relationship breakdown, being a newcomer to this country, returning from serving in our armed forces, starting university, moving home, bereavement. The places where we came together – like churches, pubs and the workplace – have changed out of all recognition. Many of our connections have been turned into transactions. Rachel Reeves MP, Co-Chair of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, set out what the Commission has learned and gave her thoughts on how we can create a less lonely world. Neil O’Brien OBE MP responded, with the discussion chaired by Daily Mirror Columnist Ros Wynne-Jones.

The State of the Union

The State of the Union is a new paper by renowned historian Professor Arthur Aughey, of Ulster University, in which he says by any comparative international standards, the Union has proved both successful and durable as an arrangement of state. When placed in the broadest international context, the United Kingdom can sometimes look like an oddity. But the Union on which it is predicated is a remarkably enduring constitutional arrangement and a surprisingly cohesive national state.

Better Brownfield

London needs to build 66,000 new homes a year. But with the population projected to grow by 70,000 a year up to 10.5 million by 2041, London also needs schools, shops, amenities and space for tens of thousands of new jobs. To prepare for and accommodate such levels of growth we must make the very best use of land in the capital. Yet despite the Mayoral drive to increase densities in London, too much space is wasted across the city on sites currently occupied by single-storey big box retail and industrial sheds. In this report we argue for the redevelopment of “Boxland” into genuinely mixed use neighbourhoods where people want to live.

Getting Over the Line: Solutions to the Irish border

The Irish border is not the insoluble obstacle to Brexit negotiations that it has been made out to be and the UK can leave the single market and customs union while preserving a frictionless border in Ireland. This can be achieved by the use of new technology and in the context of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU, in an arrangement that goes beyond the Customs Partnership and in no way threatens the Good Friday Agreement.

Are we really on the cusp of a ‘hydrogen economy’?

Hydrogen is making headlines again, but is the excitement justified? Josh Burke examines if we are really on the cusp of a ‘hydrogen economy’ and why the Government is right to target investment at lowering the high cost of producing large volumes of low carbon hydrogen.

The limits of central banks’ independence – public support?

Reflecting on the discussion of Paul Tucker’s new book on unelected power, Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics, Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – argues that central banks have used their independence to maintain price stability by allowing asset prices to inflate separately. As was observed at the event, perceived gains to those with such assets may limit popular support for such measures when the next crisis hits.

Don’t listen to the doom-mongers – why the UK (including Northern Ireland) can leave the Customs Union, avoid a hard border and preserve the Good Friday Agreement

Graham Gudgin, Chief Economic Adviser to Policy Exchange and a former special adviser to the Northern Ireland First Minister, and Ray Bassett, Senior Fellow for EU Affairs and a former Irish Ambassador to Canada, demonstrate that the UK can leave the Customs Union, avoid a ‘hard’ Irish Border and preserve the Good Friday Agreement.

Monarchy helps unify the country post-Brexit, new poll finds

A clear majority of people in all parts of the United Kingdom think that the monarchy unifies the country following the Brexit referendum, according to polling data carried out exclusively for Policy Exchange. Even in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which voted to remain in the EU, more than double think the monarchy brings the country together than the reverse.

Policy Exchange launches Liveable London programme

Policy Exchange has launched a major new unit dedicated to London and Londoners – to be headed by Liam Booth-Smith, who joins the Policy Exchange team. Liveable London will champion new ideas to make London a better place to live and work. Accompanying the launch, Policy Exchange released a major new report – endorsed by the Evening Standard – setting out how 250,000 new homes could be built in the capital.


  • Monday, 21 May, 2018
    8:30 - 15:45

Policy Exchange invites you to a Conference on “The Union and Unionism – Past, Present and Future”. Speakers will include: Rt Hon Lord Darling of Roulanish, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer; Rt Hon Ruth Davidson MSP, Leader, Scottish Conservatives; Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA PC, Former First Minister of Northern Ireland and Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party; Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, Chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Party; Lord Murphy of Torfaen PC KCMCO KSG, Former Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland; Rt Hon Jim Murphy, Former Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.


  • Wednesday, 9 May, 2018
    12:30 - 14:00

The Government has chosen the space industry as one of the first six key challenges to be targeted by the new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with £100 million of funding for a new National Satellite Testing Facility. At the same time, the Government has launched a new series of grants to support the development of new spaceports, while the Space Industry Act aims to reduce regulatory barriers to commercial spaceflight.

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