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.

Policy Exchange research referenced in Government’s Social Housing Green Paper

Policy Exchange’s latest report on tackling the housing crisis, Building More, Building Beautiful, has been referenced in the Government’s recently published Social Housing Green Paper. As called for in our report, the Green Paper highlights the importance of good design to social housing. It references our research which shows how better quality buildings and public spaces improve people’s quality of life and happiness.

Previously Building More, Building Beautiful has been praised by the Prime Minister when speaking at the Policy Exchange Summer Party. The report’s foreword was written by Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who also delivered his first speech on housing to Policy Exchange.

What Does Chequers Mean for Northern Ireland?

In the first of a series by Policy Exchange experts reflecting on the Chequers Agreement and Brexit White Paper, our Chief Economic Adviser Dr Graham Gudgin reflects on their implications for the Irish border. Dr Gudgin, a former Special Adviser to the Northern Irish First Minister and leading expert on issues around the border, concludes that if the White Paper’s recommendations are implemented, the Northern Irish border ‘problem’ is largely solved.

Prime Minister delivers keynote remarks at Policy Exchange Summer Reception

Highlighting Policy Exchange’s place as the leading think tank of modernisation, she praised its latest report on tackling the housing crisis.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to Policy Exchange’s successful track record of policy innovation, saying “can I give a sincere thanks to Policy Exchange for everything that you’ve been doing because its 16 years now that you’ve been making the case for a modern compassionate reforming conservatism. And if we just look at some of the ideas you’ve brought forward – free schools, police and crime commissioners – you’ve actually championed some of the defining policies of the last decade…  I’m really interested in the report you’ve brought out today. I’ve long said that design quality is, I think, actually one of the keys to new housing, and can I just say that it’s important you carry on because there’s a real battle of ideas today because, let’s face it, the world is changing fast.”

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Environment Secretary calls for new approach to capitalism in speech at Policy Exchange

In a wide ranging speech at Policy Exchange this morning, Environment Secretary Michael Gove challenged think tanks and politicians to tackle today’s economic problems, saying that “while capitalism has brought both growth and progress in the past, it is not delivering now.” He called for a new approach which “should place the importance of protecting, enhancing and growing natural capital at its heart”. Mr Gove also paid tribute to Policy Exchange’s work across a range of issues, saying that “the practical solutions Policy Exchange has developed have been implemented in Government and have made a profound difference for the better”.

Davidson and Darling

Policy Exchange hosts conference on the future of Unionism

Policy Exchange hosted a major conference considering the future of the Union, with keynote speeches from Ruth Davidson, Alistair Darling, Michael Gove, Arlene Foster, Brandon Lewis, Jim Murphy and Theresa Villiers. In bringing together speakers from different parties, different nations and opposite sides of the Brexit debate, we demonstrated that unionism can be the bridge between the different elements in our divided society. We also published The State of the Union, a new paper by Professor Arthur Aughey of Ulster University, in which he says that the United Kingdom is a remarkably enduring constitutional arrangement and a surprisingly cohesive national state.

Fuelling the Future

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.

The Border Audit

Brexit and the ending of free movement, the persistent problem of illegal immigration and the need to avoid any repeat of the Windrush scandal, have combined to put some kind of national identity system right back on the political agenda. One option would be to roll out the ID management system now being developed for the 3.6m EU citizens to everyone. The border should also be a higher priority for future public investment, according to a new report by Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration David Goodhart, The Border Audit: A post-Windrush review.

Trading Tigers

Brexit offers the opportunity to join free trade deals with fast growing economies like members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – but only if the UK is free to make commitments on both goods and services, argues a new essay by Policy Exchange’s Head of Trade Policy Geoff Raby and Head of Economics Warwick Lightfoot.

Immigration after Brexit

Policy Exchange’s David Goodhart takes a look at the latest report on immigration policy post-Brexit and finds much to support – with a few questions remaining.

Financial Stability Post Brexit

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – looks at the possible impact of Brexit on financial stability and the willingness of the world to act in the event of another financial crisis.

Policy Exchange at the Big Tent Ideas Festival 2018

Policy Exchange hosted four events in the Politics tent at the Big Ideas Festival, looking at some of today’s most contentious issues. A top range of speakers debated how to raise the tone of public discourse; building a new national consensus; beating NIMBYism by building beautiful homes; and using great thinkers and leaders of the past to solve today’s problems.

Policy Exchange welcomes Hon James Mattis

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.

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