“The beauty agenda is the brainchild of Policy Exchange,” reported The Economist, referencing our research paper Building More, Building Beautiful, which argued for design and style to be central to housebuilding. The Economist notes that the Government has “taken up the idea with vigour”, and quotes Tom Tugendhat MP’s remark that it is “the biggest idea in housing policy since the sale of council houses under Margaret Thatcher”.
It followed Sir Roger Scruton’s inaugural Colin Amery Memorial Lecture – part of Policy Exchange’s Building Beautiful Month. Sir Roger argued that the failure of much modern architecture “lies in the absence of any reliable patterns or types which can be used by ordinary builders so as to harmonise with the existing urban décor, while respecting the street and the façade as the defining contours of a shared space.” Watch his lecture.
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. Read the report here
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.
Peers have again backed Policy Exchange’s proposal to update the Law of Treason. Former Justice Minister Lord Faulks QC, backed by Lord Bethell and Lord Hodgson, proposed an amendment to the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill, which would follow proposals set out in Aiding the Enemy. Baroness Williams, Minister of State for Countering Extremism, commended Policy Exchange’s paper as a “useful contribution to the debate” and said treason offences may be considered as part of an ongoing Home Office review of all legislation applicable to hostile state activity.
Speaking at Policy Exchange’s annual reception at Conservative Party Conference, the Home Secretary said: “If I think about the policies regarding all the different roles I’ve had in Government – in every different role I’ve had there’s always been something from Policy Exchange that has helped us shape policy and have a real impact.
“Even now for me the work you are doing on counter-extremism, the work that’s been done on immigration, especially post-Windrush on what lessons we can learn, but also more broadly in politics the work you’ve done on being more civil in politics – you’re raising the tone of politics which I think is hugely important.” Watch the video of that event and more 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”. Just this week 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.
Recent years have seen a sustained and significant coarsening of the tone in British politics. Why is this happening? What are the consequences? And what should be done about it?
It is the EU’s Brexit position which most threatens the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Scotland and North East England offer the best opportunities for successful hydrogen production hubs, while investment in cost-effective hydrogen production technologies – such as electrolysis – would open up export opportunities and address both the Industrial and Clean Growth strategies, according to the new report from Policy Exchange’s award-winning energy team, with a Foreword from the first elected Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen.
We’re delighted to announce that this November will be “Building Beautiful Month” at Policy Exchange, the next stage of our efforts to address the housing crisis, the major domestic policy issue of the day.
Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot – a former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – says the Prime Minister’s announcement that ‘austerity’ is ending is good politics. But increased public spending doesn’t always mean better public sector productivity, he warns.
Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of a Digital Services Tax, Jan Zeber, Policy Exchange’s Research Fellow on Prosperity, told Sky News that the policy should not be viewed as a measure to help the high street. In the long-run, brick-and-mortar shops need to offer something that online retailers cannot, rather than aim to compete directly.
Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project submits evidence to Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry on the 20th anniversary of the Human Rights Act 1998
Richard Ekins (University of Oxford and Head of the Judicial Power Project) and Graham Gee (University of Sheffield) have submitted written evidence to the inquiry by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights on 20 Years of the Human Rights Act. Download our submission or read online via Parliament’s website.
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.