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 housing policy supported by No 10

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.

What Does Chequers Mean for Northern Ireland?

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.

Prime Minister delivers keynote remarks at Policy Exchange Summer Reception

Highlighting Policy Exchange’s place as the leading think tank of modernisation, she praised its latest report on tackling the housing crisis.

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.”

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Environment Secretary calls for new approach to capitalism in speech at Policy Exchange

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”.

Davidson and Darling

Policy Exchange hosts conference on the future of Unionism

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.

Farming Tomorrow

This major new Policy Exchange report sets out the once in a generation opportunity that Brexit offers our nation to reform its agricultural and environmental policy. Since 1973, UK farm and food policies have conformed to the rules and objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) — the EU’s principal policy programme. Doing so has, at great expense, reduced Britain’s agricultural productivity by lessening competition and supporting inefficient farmers. It has also increased costs for consumers. This report outlines opportunities to improve policy by focusing on four main interest groups: consumers, producers, the wider rural economy, and the environment. This report offers timely and comprehensive analysis and answers to some of the most pressing policy questions of our day.

Foreign Policy and National Security in the New Parliament

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.

Global Britain, Global Challenges: How to make aid more effective

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”.

Fixing roofs in the sunshine – why central banks must reconsider loose monetary policy

Central banks should use the relatively benign economic conditions to reorientate money policy argues Warwick Lightfoot – himself former special adviser to three chancellors. As the world economy has recovered, central banks need to re-examine their lax approach to tools such as interest rates so that they can respond to any future crisis. Not doing so will leave their arsenals worryingly empty.

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot talks to BBC Radio Wiltshire about Police Commissioners

Warwick Lightfoot – Policy Exchange Director of Research & Head of Economics and Social Policy – spoke to BBC Radio Wiltshire about Police and Crime Commissioners. Although first elected in 2012, the idea to create the posts was in fact proposed by Policy Exchange in our very first report, ‘Going local: Who should run Britain’s police?’, published nine years earlier in 2003.

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