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 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.
Can the UK lead the world in the development and production of batteries for electric cars? This is the stated aim of the government’s support programme for the battery sector. Yet, in the light of the current state of the UK battery sector and the strength of international competition, world leadership in car batteries is almost certainly unattainable. If the demand for electric cars grows as fast as many forecasters expect, investment in battery production should be financed by the private sector, argues Sir Geoffrey Owen, Policy Exchange’s Head of Industrial Policy and a former editor of the Financial Times, in a new paper Batteries for Electric Cars: A case study in industrial strategy.
As Putin celebrates another election victory, today’s Labour party should remember that there can be no coherent response to the Russian provocation without an appreciation of how our collective security is underscored by NATO and the role Labour played in its creation. In a new essay, In Defence of Collective Security, Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project and an award winning biographer of Clement Attlee, argues that our current system of Western security, based on NATO, was painstakingly put in place by Attlee and Ernest Bevin and that the current Labour leadership betrays that legacy.
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’s John Blake – himself a former teacher – says that while school reform will continue, recent announcements suggest that skills policy will be the focus of the Department for Education under its new leadership.
Britain’s industry-led space policy “model” has been a resounding success. But can it survive the fierce competition of the new space race?
The UK has made significant progress developing its approach to space, including the passage of the recent Space Bill and announcement of the Space Strategy, argues Policy Exchange’s Senior Research Fellow for Defence Gabriel Elefteriu. Discussing the event held at Policy Exchange to explore these issues, Gabriel argues that more will be required if the UK is to fully take advantage of the opportunities offered by this new frontier.
The former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson Q.C. endorsed Policy Exchange’s recent report on online extremism, ‘The New Netwar’, whilst speaking alongside the Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP. During a Spectator and Sky fringe event on freedom and security in the age of the internet at Conservative Party Conference, Anderson cited our findings on Islamic States’s online strategy and suggested that the Home Secretary consider our recommendation that Ofcom take an independent regulatory role towards tech companies and extremist content online.
The Times publishes letter on combat immunity by authors of Policy Exchange’s ‘Clearing the Fog of Law’ paper
In a letter published in The Times, the authors of Policy Exchange’s Clearing the Fog of Law paper address the President of the Law Society’s misplaced criticism of government proposals to revive combat immunity. The point of the proposals is to restore the law as it stood before the landmark decision of Smith & Others v Ministry of Defence and thus to beat back the judicialisation of war. The Law Society is wrong to say that this is an attack on compensation or accountability.
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- Thursday, 28 September, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
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.
- Monday, 2 October, 2017
18:45 - 20:30
Addressing Policy Exchange’s party at the Conservative conference, Business Secretary Rt Hon Greg Clark MP paid tribute to our work, saying “Policy Exchange was in the vanguard of urging Government to think about industrial strategy”. A packed audience of supporters, MPs and members heard him call on people to make the case for free market ideas and say that “All across different subject areas Policy Exchange is thinking positively and creatively about the future”.
- 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