Foreign Policy & Security
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We must do more to protect the indispensable yet insecure internet infrastructure provided by undersea cables, urges Rishi Sunak MP in a new report published by Policy Exchange, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure. 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted not by satellites in the skies, but by cables lying deep beneath the ocean. Undersea cables are the indispensable infrastructure of our time, essential to our modern life and digital economy, yet they are inadequately protected and highly vulnerable to attack at sea and on land, from both hostile states and terrorists.
Nearly three quarters of the British public want the big internet companies to do more to locate and delete extremist content and believe that they are not doing enough to combat radicalisation, according to polling conducted for Policy Exchange’s latest report The New Netwar: Countering Online Extremism. Commenting on this Policy Exchange study, Home Secretary Amber Rudd noted on her Department’s official website that “We know that Daesh pose a threat online and this report helps to highlight the scale of the issue.” The report received widespread domestic and international media coverage: General David Petraeus, who wrote the report’s Foreword, appeared on the Today programme and wrote for the Times. Dr Martyn Frampton’s broadcast appearances included Good Morning Britain, BBC World Service, Radio 5 Live and LBC.
In a new report published last week, Policy Exchange stresses the vital role of Parliament in shaping debates about Britain’s place in the world, and urges the building of greater cross-party consensus on foreign policy. It stresses the role of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Select Committee in the context of a hung Parliament. The report was published alongside a new database of MPs’ voting records on key issues of national security since 2010, as well as their constituency positions on Brexit — the most detailed resource of its kind ever created. In a Foreword to the report, Tom Tugendhat MP, the new Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said, ‘Policy Exchange is at the forefront of new thinking about national security and the UK’s place in the world’. The report was covered in The Daily Mail.
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Policy Exchange’s Senior Fellow on EU Affairs Ray Bassett – himself a former senior Irish diplomat – argues that ‘any hard border in the Irish Sea and North/South would hurt Ireland a lot more than it would Britain’ and that Ireland’s interests are more aligned with the UK than EU. Consequently, he says Dublin should drop its efforts to keep Northern Ireland in the Customs Union.
The EU’s own report confirms that the Irish Border issue can be resolved with technology – does this expose other motivations in Dublin and Brussels?
Dr Graham Gudgin – himself a former special adviser to the First Minister of Northern Ireland – finds that the EU’s own research group has identified technological solutions to avoid a ‘hard border’, raising questions about Dublin and Brussels’ intransigence on this issue.
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Policy Exchange launched our new Anglo-American project with a high level conference in Washington to debate US-UK Relations in a Changing World. Both the US National Security Adviser Lt Gen HR McMaster and the National Security Adviser to the British Prime Minister, Mark Sedwill CMG, spoke at the event – the first time the two holders of these positions have appeared together in public. The event attracted widespread media coverage including from Bloomberg, Newsweek, ABC News, Voice of America, Washington Times, The National, Mail Online and the New York Times.
Niall Ferguson compares balance of power to Congress of Vienna at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conferencePolicy Exchange
Professor Niall Ferguson, who spoke at the launch of Policy Exchange’s new Anglo-American project, argued that the best historical analogy for the current balance of powers is with the pentarchy of five great powers that dominated European (and hence world) affairs for a century after the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15. A modern pentarchy was created in the form of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Professor Ferguson argues that “Whether or not these five great powers can make common cause once again is the great geopolitical question of our time.”
The new Policy Exchange report warning that undersea communications cables are vital to our economy but vulnerable to attached attracted widespread national and regional media coverage, including its author, Rishi Sunak MP, appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme and writing for the Telegraph.
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RT @GElefteriu ***LAUNCHING TODAY*** @Policy_Exchange's new #SpacePolicyUnit, taking off with a keynote speech by @usairforce Secretary Heather Wilson @SecAFOfficial, introduced by UK Science Minister @CSkidmoreUK, vote of thanks by Lord Willetts. Time for a new level of UK ambition in #space! twitter.com/RupesOR/status…