The UK Economy and Coronavirus Crisis Webinar

‘Everything is different now: the UK economy and the Coronavirus crisis’ was the subject of Policy Exchange’s first public webinar. Our speakers included the main triumvirate who led the policy response to the 2008 economic crisis – Rt Hon Lord Darling of Roulanish, former Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord King of Lothbury, former Governor of the Bank of England; Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court, former Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury – as well as Dr Gerard Lyons, newly appointed Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange. The event was chaired by Juliet Samuel, Telegraph columnist and Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange.

The event was covered by The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and ITV News among other outlets.

Chancellor’s first Budget reflects Policy Exchange’s research priorities

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP’s first Budget as Chancellor the Exchequer reflected a wide range of Policy Exchange’s recent research priorities, including: reforms “to bring the planning system into the 21st Century”, as outlined in Rethinking the Planning System for the 21st Century; the establishment of a new high-risk, high-reward Advanced Research Projects Agency, as called for in Visions of Arpa; a greater role for regional representatives in trade missions, as argued for in Modernising the United Kingdom; hundreds of millions invested at the scientific frontier, including in space, as found in Space: What do we want from the next Prime Minister?; the freezing of Carbon Price Support at £18t/CO2e for 2021-22, as called for in Clean Growth; and a major review into the FinTech sector, explored in our recent report, FinTech for All.

Policy Exchange’s universities research on front page of The Times

Pupils will receive university offers only after their A-level results, in radical reforms to the admissions system reported on the front page of The Times. The change reflects the key recommendation made in Policy Exchange’s 2019 report Sins of Admission, which noted the disastrous impact unconditional offers can have on individual students and entire cohorts. The Times also cited Policy Exchange’s new paper, Universities at the Crossroads, which warned that universities are losing the nation’s trust. Policy Exchange’s paper also featured in The Daily Mail and in The Guardian under the headline, ‘Universities brace for government scrutiny after Policy Exchange report’.

The return of onshore wind

The next round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme will be inclusive of more forms of renewable energy, including onshore wind, solar and floating offshore wind developments, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, announced yesterday. The new policy reflects a key recommendation made in Policy Exchange’s 2015 report, Powering Up: The future of onshore wind in the UKwhich argued for the continuing inclusion of new and repowered wind projects under the CfD scheme at a time when the policy of excluding onshore wind from future CfD auction rounds was emerging.

Open Europe joins Policy Exchange

Policy Exchange is delighted to announce that Open Europe’s team of experts – Stephen Booth, David Shiels, and Dominic Walsh – is joining us to lead the work of our Britain in the World Unit. Simon Wolfson, until now Open Europe’s Chairman, is returning to Policy Exchange’s Board of Trustees. Sir David Ord, the co-owner and Managing Director of the Bristol Port Company, will also be joining Policy Exchange’s Board of Trustees. Read the full announcement here.

Policy Exchange is ‘pre-eminent think tank in Westminster,’ says Iain Dale

“If anyone was to draw up a list of the top twenty most influential think tanks in Westminster, can anyone seriously doubt that Policy Exchange would be at number one?” That’s the verdict of Iain Dale in the LBC presenter’s latest column for Conservative Home. He calls Policy Exchange “the pre-eminent think tank in the Westminster village” and notes our unique convening power, saying: “There are few organisations that could attract power players like Mark Carney and Alan Greenspan, or Dominic Raab and Mike Pompeo to appear on its platforms.”

Policy Exchange hosts US Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, to speak on “The Future of the Special Relationship”, in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, the Foreign Secretary, at an event in Westminster. The discussion – which ranged from Brexit to the rise of China – was moderated by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange. Watch the full video here, and read coverage in The Express

Modernising the UK

The Sun reported that the Government is considering a Department for the Union to strengthen the bonds between the nations, as recommended in Policy Exchange’s Modernising the United Kingdom paper. This follows the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee backing Policy Exchange’s proposals to increase the number of sporting events that must be shown on free-to-air TV, for example women’s national football tournaments and test cricket in Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Manifesto wins

Policy Exchange was delighted that the party election manifestos reflected the priorities of our cross-party research since the last general election (and even earlier). Ideas from at least 24 papers were contained in the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green 2019 manifestos – from social care to education, farming to judicial power. Explore the infographic showing which ideas were adopted by the different parties here.

Policy Exchange hosts Prime Minister for the launch of the authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher

Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange, was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, to the official launch of the final volume of Charles Moore’s authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, Herself Alone.

The event, hosted by Policy Exchange, was the Prime Minister’s first visit to a think tank since he took office. It was attended by some of the surviving dramatis personae from the Thatcher era and other senior figures from the world of politics, journalism and public life.

The Prime Minister praised the biography, saying, it is “not just the greatest recent work of biography but… also, in our lifetimes, the greatest work of modern British history”. Charles Moore, the author of the 20-year project, is a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and was previously Chairman of the Trustees. Watch the video of the speeches on YouTube

Speed, Scale and Simplicity

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The government has outlined an audacious package of measures aimed at dealing with the economic consequences of COVID-19, but in a fast- moving environment, it should be no surprise that policy has to continue to evolve. There have already been four fiscal packages in recent weeks, beginning with the Budget, then one focused on the corporate sector, the next on employees and last week’s targeting the self-employed. This has been supported by monetary policy. Despite this, further action is needed supported by another fiscal boost and further monetary action. It is not only the scale of the stimulus that needs to increase, but the execution of the policies. Also, the policy reaction on job protection has been impressively large, but the lack of any precedent means we cannot be certain how the measures will work.

Limiting the Economic Impact of the Covid-19 Virus

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On Thursday, the Chancellor unveiled his fourth round of policy measures to boost the economy during the Coronavirus crisis. He announced what he called a coherent, coordinated and comprehensive scheme for the self-employed. This positive approach from the Chancellor, and the speed of the Government’s response, is worthy of congratulations. Yet inevitably, in this fast-moving crisis, there remain some areas to iron out, largely linked to the policies’ likely execution and administration. The biggest challenge is the delay, as the measures unveiled will take a couple of months to implement, and the strain that this may place on those self-employed who do not have access to income during this time.

Policing a pandemic

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The Coronavirus pandemic represents the biggest challenge to UK police since the Second World War, according to Richard Walton, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and former Head of Counter-Terrorism Command at the Metropolitan Police. The paper – Policing a pandemic, part of a new series from Policy Exchange examining the policy impact of the coronavirus pandemic – recognises that, in the words of the Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty, the response of the British public to disasters and emergencies tends to be “extraordinary outbreaks of altruism”. It also notes that some aspects of criminal behaviour are very likely to decrease during periods of social distancing, for example alcohol-related disorderly behaviour, including violence that can occur in and around bars, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants, reducing police demand for emergency response calls. But the paper warns of a minority who will exploit the pandemic for criminal purposes and sets out new challenges that are likely to be faced by the police.

Onshore wind is ready to contribute to local communities and to net zero

In 2015 the Government excluded onshore wind from the Contracts for Difference support scheme based on concerns from local residents about visual impact. Since then, whilst new nuclear power and fracking have struggled to get off the ground, the cost of onshore wind has continued to fall, Parliament has declared a climate emergency, and the Government has legislated for net zero emissions by 2050.

Time to rethink macroeconomic policy

A new Chancellor of the Exchequer and a new Governor of the Bank of England offer the opportunity of taking a fresh look at not just monetary policy, but macro-economic policy as a whole and the role of fiscal policy within it. A decade after the Great Recession, there are profound questions that policy makers should be exploring.

The shape of the UK and EU trade talks in 2020

Since the UK formally left the EU two weeks ago, the two sides have been gearing up for negotiations on the future relationship. The EU is still finalising its mandate, with the European Parliament and member states pushing for a tougher stance than the European Commission’s draft. The Prime Minister set out the UK’s position in his Greenwich speech earlier this mont

BBC consultation launched in Policy Exchange speech

The Government is launching an eight-week consultation on decriminalising BBC licence fee evasion, said the Rt Hon Baroness Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in a speech at Policy Exchange on the Future of Media and Broadcasting. Watch her speech here.

DARPA and the American Approach

Policy Exchange’s Visiting Scholar, Dr William Schneider Jr, delivered a keynote speech on “Delivering National Scientific & Technological Advantage: DARPA and the American Approach”. As a former Chairman of the US Defense Science Board, Dr Schneider is a leading authority on strategic innovation and tech R&D. His wide-ranging speech addressed issues including the evolution of national defence technologies, space security and how to help create high-tech innovation. You can watch a video of the event here and read his paper here.

Policy Exchange sets out major planning reforms

A major new Policy Exchange report has called for a complete overhaul of the planning system by the Government. The report was covered in The Times whose article said Policy Exchange’s proposals were being “seriously looked at” by the No 10 policy unit. It was also featured in The Sun, ConservativeHome and on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.


  • Thursday, 30 January, 2020
    11:00 - 12:25

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon Michael R. Pompeo, United States Secretary of State, to speak on “The Future of the Special Relationship” in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, moderated by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange.


  • Wednesday, 18 December, 2019
    10:00 - 11:00

Policy Exchange welcome the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP for the first major ministerial speech following the General Election. His address coincides with the launch of Policy Exchange’s new Health and Social Care Research unit, led by Senior Fellow Richard Sloggett, former Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.


  • Tuesday, 2 April, 2019
    13:30 - 14:30

How can more people be provided a beautiful place to call home? Pioneered by the work of John Ruskin, British Socialists have long had a vision for answering this question. In this panel debate we asked what that vision is today – and how beauty can be for the many, not the few.

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