Policy Exchange hosts the Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lecture

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, for the first of two Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lectures this year. He delivered his lecture, titled “The Importance of Being Candid: On China’s Relationship with the Rest of the World”, in Mandarin, speaking of a “new consensus” in the US, which bridges political divides and unites the whole of society, on the threat posed China’s “technologically enhanced totalitarianism”. Watch the speech here.

On Wednesday, October 28, Policy Exchange hosted Dr Kurt Campbell, former United States Assistant Secretary of State, and architect during the Obama administration of the “pivot” to Asia, for the second Colin Cramphorn memorial Lecture in 2020 on “The Future of the Indo Pacific”. Watch the speech here.

Dame Patricia Hodgson to chair Policy Exchange’s Reform of Government Commission on future of the Civil Service

Policy Exchange is today delighted to announce a Reform of Government Commission, Chaired by Dame Patricia Hodgson, which will examine how the Civil Service can be improved and modernised. Dame Patricia’s overview of the Commission’s work, which argues that “the unprecedented challenges which the UK faces require a fundamental assessment of how best the machinery of government can be envisioned and equipped for the new world,” can be read here

The Reform of Government Commission will go back to first principles and ask: what sort of Civil Service do we want? What should its ethos be? How should accountability be maximised through clearer lines of responsibility? How can it better serve governments of all hues?

We will draw on the expertise of a wide range of leading practitioners. Focus groups, polling and an evidence-gathering “roadshow” will be used to produce authoritative, useful research that leads to better government.

Union Connectivity Review mirrors Policy Exchange proposals

The Government has announced a review of transport connectivity across the UK, in order to understand how it can support economic development and improve quality of life. The terms of reference emphasise “transport connectivity between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland via road, rail and air, and across the Irish Sea.” The announcement mirrors proposals in Policy Exchange’s 2019 report, Modernising the United Kingdom, which recommended that the Government should “announce a review of transport connections between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, focusing on air travel, sea travel and the capacity of road networks around airports and seaports” and that ministers should “lead a strategic infrastructure strategy to improve the economic connections between all parts of the country to reduce the disparities […]”. Read the report here.

Policy Exchange welcomes Defence Secretary and Chief of the Defence Staff

Policy Exchange welcomed the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, to introduce a keynote speech by General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, on The Integrated Operating Concept.

In this major speech at an important juncture for UK defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff  presented a new approach to the utility of armed force and integration of space, cyber and information, alongside the maritime, land and air domains. When speaking of the new concept he said, ‘this Integrated Operating Concept places a premium on operating, it also places a premium on adaptability – the ability to adapt to war fight.’

The event was chaired by General David Petraeus. You can watch the event here

Matt Hancock sets out vision for public health

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP,  Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for a major speech on the future of public health on 18th August.

The Health Secretary, who gave the first speech by a Cabinet minister after the election at Policy Exchange in December, outlined plans for the establishment of a new body – the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP). The NIHP will bring together the current responsibilities for infection and protection with the Government’s existing Track and Trace programme, as well as building on the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre. Mr Hancock said that the new organisation will bring together expertise to respond to the current pandemic, create resilience against future threats, and establish the right culture around collaboration.

The speech was the first Policy Exchange event to be conducted in front of a live audience since the start of the covid-19 pandemic. It was welcomed by Professor Maggie Ray, President of the UK Faculty of Public Heath, who said the setting up of the new agency was “really exciting” and pledged that her organisation wanted to work alongside the Health Secretary in the Government’s efforts to tackle future threats to public health.

To watch a recording of the livestream please click here.

 

Policy Exchange announces Indo-Pacific Commission

Policy Exchange, Britain’s most influential think tank, today announces the launch of a new international commission on the Indo-Pacific led by the former Canadian Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Stephen Harper. The Indo-Pacific Commission will include diplomats, politicians and military and civil leaders drawn from the United Kingdom, the United States and across the Indo-Pacific region – including Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. The aim of the Commission is to write the blueprint for a new strategic approach to the region, examining questions of trade, diplomacy, politics, defence and security that centre on the Indo-Pacific. Read more here and Rt Hon Stephen Harper’s op-ed in The Daily Telegraph.

Policy Exchange launches History Matters project

More than two thirds of the British public are concerned that “a minority of political activists are being given too much say over how Britain treats its monuments,” according to polling published by Policy Exchange to mark the launch of its new History Matters Project, chaired by Trevor Phillips. The polling also reveals rock bottom support for removing historical statues, including Winston Churchill’s in Parliament Square.

Policy Exchange has also issued a call for evidence on the rewriting of the UK’s history and has published a compendium of evidence gathered so far, drawing together a range of recent developments, which all turn on the place of history in the public square – including the removal of certain statues on public display, the renaming of buildings and places, and changes to the way history is taught in university curriculums. Read the announcement, and the compendium, as well as an article by Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, a member of the History Matters panel, on Conservative Home.

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

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

A Global Maritime Power

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The UK is one of the world’s leading maritime nations. As it leaves the European Union, Britain’s status as a leading economic and geo-political power depends upon the strength of its maritime industry. This paper, co-authored by former Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, highlights the difficulties facing the maritime sector and shows how support for our ports, shipping companies, shipbuilders and others can play a central role in the delivery of Government priorities such as the levelling-up agenda, making a success of Brexit, encouraging international trade, and supporting clean growth.

Verified

Every day we have to prove that we are who we say are. At present, proving one’s identity online can be cumbersome and difficult in the UK, so citizens often end up sending sensitive documents, such as passports and driving licenses, by post. This report, by Benjamin Barnard, argues that the Government needs to develop better systems to allow people to create and use ‘digital identities’ to prove their identity online, which could prevent billions of pounds of fraud a year.

Shinzo Abe and Japan’s Strategic Reset

On Friday 28 August 2020 Japan’s longest serving Prime Minster, Shinzo Abe, announced that due to deteriorating health conditions he had to step down. During his tenure, Abe arguably conducted the most significant strategic reset of Japanese foreign and security policy since the 1950s. This paper reviews how Abe brought about such changes and why these matter to the UK. Experts have already started to examine different aspects of Abe’s policy reforms, their shortcomings, and their impact in the foreseeable future. This paper benefits from this literature – which includes fair criticisms of Abe’s reforms but it also agrees that their most significant legacy rests on a strengthened international outlook. Yet, the paper seeks to draw specific attention to why and how Abe’s Japan should be a case of particular relevance to the UK.

No, more wind power doesn’t mean the lights will go out

“We believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country.” This was the Prime Minister’s positive vision for a low-carbon UK that he set out in his Conference speech last week. Rather predictably, this has led to questions about what happens when the wind stops blowing. Not all of this criticism will be in good faith, but there is also a serious point. As well as talking about low-carbon wind energy, the Government also needs to answer questions about its plan for keeping the lights on as we rely more on offshore wind farms. Some of these answers could come as part of the long-awaited Energy White Paper, which is expected to be published shortly.

What’s in a date?

The Guardian reports that Ministers are considering banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by as early as 2030, following calls from the Conservative MPs, the Government’s independent advisers on climate change, and the Labour Party. However, the UK is not yet on track to meet the Government’s existing target of 100% Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by 2040, mainly due to a lack of an overarching policy to deliver the petrol and diesel phase-out.

What the UK-Japan trade deal signifies

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced that the UK has concluded a historic new free trade agreement with Japan, the UK’s first major trade deal post-Brexit. The agreement is an important step towards the UK’s ambition to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Building a better healthcare system

The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked fundamental questions about our health and social care system.  Is the current NHS accountability structure the right one for responding to global pandemics? What is the most effective way of protecting and funding those requiring social care? How can we lock in the technological gains from the pandemic?  And how should we build hospitals that better serve the needs of the UK population in the 21st century?

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.


  • Monday, 9 November, 2020
    18:00 - 19:00

Robert D. Putnam Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University Shaylyn Romney author, speaker and social entrepreneur authors of The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again in conversation with Danny Kruger MBE MP Member of Parliament for Devizes An eminent political scientist’s brilliant analysis of economic, social, (more…)


  • Tuesday, 3 November, 2020
    15:30 - 16:15

Policy Exchange invites you to India’s Vision of the Indo-Pacific a keynote speech by H.E. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India chaired by Rt Hon Lord Johnson of Marylebone (more…)


  • Monday, 2 November, 2020
    10:30 - 11:15

Policy Exchange invites you to  Why is our Union special? A Keynote Speech by Douglas Ross MP Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party (more…)

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