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’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.
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.
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.”
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”.
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.
The State of the Union is a new paper by renowned historian Professor Arthur Aughey, of Ulster University, in which he says by any comparative international standards, the Union has proved both successful and durable as an arrangement of state. When placed in the broadest international context, the United Kingdom can sometimes look like an oddity. But the Union on which it is predicated is a remarkably enduring constitutional arrangement and a surprisingly cohesive national state.
London needs to build 66,000 new homes a year. But with the population projected to grow by 70,000 a year up to 10.5 million by 2041, London also needs schools, shops, amenities and space for tens of thousands of new jobs. To prepare for and accommodate such levels of growth we must make the very best use of land in the capital. Yet despite the Mayoral drive to increase densities in London, too much space is wasted across the city on sites currently occupied by single-storey big box retail and industrial sheds. In this report we argue for the redevelopment of “Boxland” into genuinely mixed use neighbourhoods where people want to live.
The Irish border is not the insoluble obstacle to Brexit negotiations that it has been made out to be and the UK can leave the single market and customs union while preserving a frictionless border in Ireland. This can be achieved by the use of new technology and in the context of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU, in an arrangement that goes beyond the Customs Partnership and in no way threatens the Good Friday Agreement.
Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Graham Gudgin, outlines the likely proposals to be put before Friday’s Cabinet and explores how they might work.
The Government has announced that the proposed tidal lagoon will not go ahead, 18 months after Policy Exchange raised questions. The robust independent analysis of the scheme by Policy Exchange is credited as having provided ballast for government thinking.
Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics – Warwick Lightfoot – argues that the deepening tensions in the eurozone make it all the more important that an exit strategy is developed for countries that no longer fit the model.
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.
Writing for the Evening Standard, Policy Exchange’s Co-Head of Security and Extremism Hannah Stuart challenges suggestions by new terrorism watchdog Max Hill QC that IS fighters returning from Syria are “naive” and should be “reintegrated”. Are they really “disillusioned”, she asks — or, as the caliphate crumbles, are these IS fighters merely running out of options?” Stuart argues that we have the legal armoury we need to deal these fighters, but that we need to use it more effectively. She also warns Max Hill QC against meeting Islamist groups who crave the legitimacy such meetings bestow.
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- Tuesday, 5 December, 2017
12:30 - 14:00
Policy Exchange welcomed Nick Boles and Tim Montgomerie to discuss how the housing crisis should be addressed. As part of his series on how the Conservatives can recapture the initiative, Nick Boles MP – founding Director of Policy Exchange – has written on how the Government can build the number of homes needed. This timely event explored the themes identified by Nick Boles and considered whether the latest policies announced in the Budget will achieve the stated aims.
- Monday, 11 December, 2017
13:30 - 15:00
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.
- Thursday, 7 December, 2017
12:00 - 13:45
How can the UK ensure that it is competitive post Brexit? Dominic Raab MP joined an expert panel to offer answers to this question which will have a significant impact upon the wealth of the country following Brexit. This event marked the launch of Everyone has a part to play: Improving the UK’s competitiveness post-Brexit by enhancing the rule of law, a new report from Linklaters on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinforce the rule of law and hence the UK’s economic competitiveness and prosperity.