Two of Policy Exchange’s experts are among the most read authors in Parliament, a new Freedom of Information request has revealed. Road to Somewhere, by Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration David Goodhart (longlisted for this year’s Orwell Prize) was the second most borrowed book in the House of Commons, behind only ‘How Parliament Works’. The Head of our Britain in the World Project Professor John Bew’s Orwell Prize-winning Citizen Clemwas also one of the most borrowed books in the House of Commons in 2017. Both books were named last year by the Observer among their 100 best political books.
There is a growing sense in the West that, after a string of victories, Putin overstepped the mark in the Skripal affair — according to the Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project Professor John Bew and Policy Exchange alumnus Shiraz Maher in a lead essay for the New Statesman. Having been met with an unexpectedly robust response from Britain, the US and a number of allied states, there is reason to think that he has been put on the back foot. The Trump administration – encouraged by France and the UK – may now see a moment to drive this advantage home. Momentarily, at least, the proliferation and increased use of chemical weapons, from Salisbury to Syria, has provided the Western alliance with a much-needed sense of common purpose.
As part of its commentary on the Syrian crisis, Policy Exchange’s Senior Research Fellow, Defence and Border Security Gabriel Elefteriu, wrote for the The Sun outlining the risks of a Western conflict with Russia if action is taken against Assad. Gabriel was also quoted in another Sun piece arguing that the media was the first line of defence in combating the continuing assault of fake news from Russia.
As the Government deals with the Russian threat, former Prime Minister David Cameron reminds us of another: Islamism
Speaking at a Policy Exchange conference in Washington DC, former Prime Minister David Cameron warned of the continuing threat to the West posed by Islamism. Paul Goodman observed on ConservativeHome that no other UK think tank has ‘the reach to bring together 50 or so experts, wonks, and diplomats in America’s capital for an event like this’,
High-quality textbooks and teaching methods are needed to ensure children from all backgrounds receive the rigorous education they deserve. According this new Policy Exchange report, inadequate materials for teaching the National Curriculum are holding back pupils in England and increasing teacher workload. Working in collaboration with respected institutions like the British Museum, the Government should support the creation and take-up of world-leading curriculum materials. The report’s author John Blake – Policy Exchange’s Head of Education & Social Reform and a former teacher – discussed its recommendations on Radio 4’s Today programme and wrote on the same topic for the TES.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, set out his vision for a liberal Brexit in a speech given at Policy Exchange. Mr Johnson urged Remainers and Leavers to unite behind the opportunities that leaving the EU affords. He said that there is a case for future regulatory divergence from the EU: “We would be mad to go through this process of extrication from the EU, and not to take advantage of the economic freedoms it will bring.” In many areas, however, such as security co-operation and cultural exchange, there would continue to be high levels of engagement.
With 9 million people reporting that they are always or often lonely, as a society have we structured loneliness into our lives? Loneliness can be triggered by moments of transition that can happen to us all: the birth of a child, retirement, relationship breakdown, being a newcomer to this country, returning from serving in our armed forces, starting university, moving home, bereavement. The places where we came together – like churches, pubs and the workplace – have changed out of all recognition. Many of our connections have been turned into transactions. Rachel Reeves MP, Co-Chair of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, set out what the Commission has learned and gave her thoughts on how we can create a less lonely world. Neil O’Brien OBE MP responded, with the discussion chaired by Daily Mirror Columnist Ros Wynne-Jones.
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.
Policy Exchange today publishes ‘Global Britain, Global Challenges: How to make aid more effective’. The report makes a strong case for the importance of overseas aid and supports the Government’s commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of national income on aid. The report has a foreword by Scottish Conservative leader Rt Hon Ruth Davidson, MSP; she wrote for The Times today about why “Looking forward, a global Britain should both maintain its world-leading aid budget and be a champion for free trade”.
In a flagship new report for Policy Exchange, former senior Irish Ambassador Ray Bassett argues that a failure to reach a benign compromise between the EU and the UK in Brexit negotiations risks seriously damaging the Irish economy. So far, the Irish Government has sided firmly with the EU27, but Bassett believes this may be a mistake given how intimately the Irish and British economies are connected. In the event of the UK leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, Ireland may be forced to follow suit, potentially even seeking its own “Irexit”.
Following the publication of Sir Noel Malcolm’s Human Rights and Political Wrongs, Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project has published five responses to his book by eminent legal and philosophical scholars. The short commentaries by Baroness O’Neill, Lord Phillips, John Finnis, John Tasioulas and Guglielmo Verdirame interrogate and complement Sir Noel’s work.
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.
Policy Exchange’s head of economics Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – argues the Spring Statement was slightly more positive than the forecast published at the time of the November Budget last year, but remains too pessimistic about the future course of the economy.
Policy Exchange hosts a speech by the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Australia’s immigration minister, who reflected on the need for a carefully managed migration system in order to maintain public support for continuing new arrivals. A packed audience heard how the Australian government’s approach has tackled people trafficking while also ensuring Australia has the skilled migrants it needs and maintaining a generous settlement programme for refugees.
John Blake – Policy Exchange Head of Education and Social Reform – spoke to Sky News about a recent study which found that poorer students will graduate with average debts of £57,000.
Policy Exchange holds inaugural event of new Housing and Urban Regeneration Unit — ‘The New Politics of Housing’
Policy Exchange held the inaugural event of its new Housing and Urban Regeneration Unit — ‘The New Politics of Housing’. The focus was on what needs to change now given the unexpected election result and the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. We were joined by former No 10 Head of Policy John Godfrey, Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson, former DCLG housing leader Terrie Alafat and developer Philip Barnes and the event was chaired by Richard Blakeway, Policy Exchange’s Chief Housing Adviser and former Deputy Mayor of London for housing.
- Tuesday, 12 September, 2017
8:30 - 10:30
Policy Exchange hosted top experts from industry and Parliament for a debate on the future of Britain’s electricity system and the potential role of small modular nuclear reactors in meeting our energy needs. Rachel Reeves MP (Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee) introduced our distinguished panel of speakers including Rt Hon Lord Howell of Guildford (former Secretary of State for Energy), Harry Holt (President of Rolls-Royce Nuclear) and Dr Jenifer Baxter (Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers). Lord Howell’s comments on the opportunities Brexit presents for nuclear research were covered by the Telegraph.
Venue: Policy Exchange
- Thursday, 7 September, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
A discussion with John Godfrey (Former Director of Policy at No 10), Fraser Nelson (Editor of the Spectator), Terrie Alafat (The Chartered Institute of Housing), Phillip Barnes (Barratt Developments Plc), and Susan Emmett (Head of Policy Exchange’s Housing Unit).
- Monday, 17 July, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
Policy Exchange hosted Professor Richard Tuck, one of the world’s leading historians of ideas, to set out the case for Brexit as the best opportunity for the Left to bring about pure socialism. Labour MP Caroline Flint delivered the vote of thanks, in which she cautioned her colleagues that “We cannot spend the next 18 months voting down every one of the Tories’ EU Bills. If we do so, we will look like liars” in remarks covered by the Express, the Sun and Total Politics.
Venue: Policy Exchange