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.
Writing for ConservativeHome, its editor Paul Goodman has covered Policy Exchange’s plan to use better design and style to overcome Nimbyism. Goodman reports ”Brokenshire believes that it will be impossible to meet the nation’s housing need without gaining buy-in from local people… For him, consent is the key that will open the door to new homes. Both HCLG and Downing Street are enthusiastic about Policy Exchange’s stress on beauty.”
The report, containing exclusive new polling for Policy Exchange, said the housing crisis will only be solved if the developers of new homes place more emphasis on design and style to gain the support of existing communities. Building More, Building Beautiful: How design and style can unlock the housing crisis, with a Foreword from Secretary of State for Housing Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, shows that support for traditional design is highest among lower socioeconomic groups and that Nimbyism can be overcome if plans better reflect people’s desire for traditional building design, like Victorian terraces and Georgian blocks.
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.
In a major new study, Policy Exchange argues that as the UK leaves the EU, it should unilaterally abolish all tariffs. This would reduce UK consumers’ shopping bills, increase productivity and promote global prosperity. We can also disarm the threat of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. In the Foreword, Australian High Commissioner to London Alexander Downer said: “Trade is not a zero-sum equation. In the decades ahead all major economies should remove their tariffs and open their markets to competition. As the UK once again takes its place at the WTO it should take the opportunity lead by example and remove its tariffs.”
Policy Exchange is delighted to announce that Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project, has been appointed as a specialist adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry into ‘Global Britain’. To mark that appointment, we publish a new reading list, Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world, compiled by Professor Bew, Gabriel Elefteriu, Jamie Gaskarth and Patrick Porter.
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.
Reflecting on the discussion of Paul Tucker’s new book on unelected power, Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics, Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – argues that central banks have used their independence to maintain price stability by allowing asset prices to inflate separately. As was observed at the event, perceived gains to those with such assets may limit popular support for such measures when the next crisis hits.
Don’t listen to the doom-mongers – why the UK (including Northern Ireland) can leave the Customs Union, avoid a hard border and preserve the Good Friday Agreement
Graham Gudgin, Chief Economic Adviser to Policy Exchange and a former special adviser to the Northern Ireland First Minister, and Ray Bassett, Senior Fellow for EU Affairs and a former Irish Ambassador to Canada, demonstrate that the UK can leave the Customs Union, avoid a ‘hard’ Irish Border and preserve the Good Friday Agreement.
North Koreans should beware their leader using their traditional negotiating playbook – President Trump is playing a different game
With hopes rising of détente between North Korea and the rest of the world, Lieutenant General (Ret.) I.-B. Chun, Former Commander, South Korea Special Warfare Command warns that if the North Koreans are simply stalling for stalling for time, the Trump administration’s response may be very different from that of his predecessors.
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.
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- Tuesday, 26 September, 2017
8:30 - 9:30
Speakers: Paul Sweeney MP, Shadow Minister for Scotland, Professor Lindsay Stirton, Professor of Public Law, University of Sussex, Rebecca Lowe, Fellow, State & Society, Policy Exchange. This event took place at the Labour party conference.
- Monday, 25 September, 2017
17:30 - 18:30
Speakers: Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee, Prof Marcus Newborough, Development Director, ITM Power, Marcus Stewart, Head of Energy Insights, UK Energy Strategy, National Grid, Mike Copson, Hydrogen Business Development Manager, Shell New Energies, Matt Rooney, Energy and Environment Research Fellow, Policy Exchange
- Monday, 25 September, 2017
12:30 - 13:30
Speakers: Clive Efford MP, Anthony Beilin, Head of Innovation and Startup Engagement, Aviva, Birgitte Andersen, CEO, Big Innovation Centre, Alistair Cohen, CEO, OnCare, Warwick Lightfoot, Research Director, Policy Exchange