Covers of Citizen Clem and The Road to Somewhere

Policy Exchange experts dominate MPs’ reading list

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.

Policy Exchange experts comment on Syria crisis

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’,

Completing the Revolution: Delivering on the promise of the 2014 National Curriculum

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.

Foreign Secretary sets out vision for Brexit at Policy Exchange

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.

Rachel Reeves MP: Throwing a new light on loneliness

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.

After Brexit: Will Ireland be next to exit?

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”.

Clean Growth: How to boost business energy productivity

The Government should establish a new Energy Efficiency Delivery Unit and Energy Performance Certificates should be linked to business rates to incentivise landlords to invest more in energy efficiency, according to Clean Growth, the new report from Policy Exchange’s influential and expert Energy and Environment team. The report calls for a new approach by Government to encourage investment in business energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions and improve business productivity. Existing tools like the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme can be much better used – and must be extended to public sector institutions like the NHS and MoD.

Defying Gravity: A critique of estimates of the economic impact of Brexit

The models used to assess the economic impact of Brexit were misleading, according to new analysis by Dr Graham Gudgin, Policy Exchange’s new Chief Economics Adviser and the co-author of the report. At the time, the projections made by the Treasury, OECD and IMF were used by the then government and Remain campaign to argue that the British economy would face a significant and permanent loss of income in the event of a vote to leave. A careful analysis of the gravity trade economic models used to generate these pessimistic projections suggests that the impact of Brexit on our economy will be much less significant than the economic consensus constructed at the time of the referendum.

The Spring forecast – better news but still too pessimistic

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 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.

Policy Exchange lawfare work ‘the UK equivalent of Broken Windows’

In a profile of Tom Tugendhat MP, the new Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, for ConservativeHome, columnist Andrew Gimson pays tribute to his work for Policy Exchange on ‘lawfare’ — describing The Fog of Law and its successor Clearing the Fog of Law as “the UK equivalent of the Manhattan Institute’s “Broken Windows” moment”. It drastically changed the terms of the debate and led to decisive action to deal with the problem.

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