Home Secretary to examine Treason law proposal

Policy Exchange’s proposal for a new law of Treason, which would help prosecute returning Isis fighters, was discussed in the House of Commons and House of Lords this week and received front page coverage in The Daily Telegraph. Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chair of the Defence Select Committee, quoted a newspaper article by Professor Richard Ekins, Head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, which said that “Parliament should restore the law of treason, specifying that it is treacherous to support a group that one knows intends to attack the UK or is fighting UK forces.” Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the Home Secretary, responded: “I have read that article and heard what Professor Ekins has said in the past, and I think that it is worth considering it carefully.” In the House of Lords, responding to a question from Lord Faulks QC, former Justice Minister, about Policy Exchange’s proposal, Baroness Barran, replying for the Government, confirmed that the Home Secretary would look at the issue carefully. Read the news report here and the original Policy Exchange paper, Aiding the Enemy: How and why to restore the law of treason.

 

Theresa May responds to Lord Bew’s Backstop paper

In a Q and A after her speech in Belfast on how Brexit will affect Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister was asked about Lord Bew’s recent Policy Exchange paper, The Backstop Paralysis: A Way Out. Specifically, did she agree with his assessment that the UK Government has not challenged the Irish Government’s narrative on the Good Friday Agreement being under threat. Read her response on the Guardian’s live blog.

Davidson and Darling

‘Superb’ Building Beautiful essay collection features in The Times

“Beauty may have been neglected for years, but now decision-makers are moving in the right direction,” says Clare Foges in The Times. She praises Building Beautiful as “a superb collection of essays published… by the think tank Policy Exchange” and mentions contributions from the celebrated Syrian architect and author Marwa Al-Sabouni and Sir Terry Farrell, whose essay (and Times column) argued for a new generation of mansion blocks. Read the column here and the essay collection here.

Disruptive behaviour damaging children’s learning

Persistent disruption is endemic in English schools, according to a new study by Dr Joanna Williams, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education. In one of the most extensive investigations ever conducted into pupil behaviour, polling found that 75% of teachers think that low level disruption occurs frequently or very frequently in their schools and that 72% of them know a colleague who has “left the teaching profession because of bad behaviour”. The report, “It Just Grinds You Down”, was welcomed by Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, the Education Secretary, and media coverage included in the Guardian, Telegraph and Sun.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Mark Carney praises “highly influential” Policy Exchange

“Policy Exchange is… multidisciplinary, highly influential, a productive force in the heart of Westminster and our political system,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, at a Policy Exchange event with Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s Bagehot columnist, to launch their new book, Capitalism in America.

Mr Carney added: “It’s at events like this where radical thoughts challenge orthodoxy and a culture of cross-disciplinary thinking fosters the creation of new ideas.”

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”. The same week as winning this award, 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.

The Border Audit

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Brexit and the ending of free movement, the persistent problem of illegal immigration and the need to avoid any repeat of the Windrush scandal, have combined to put some kind of national identity system right back on the political agenda. One option would be to roll out the ID management system now being developed for the 3.6m EU citizens to everyone. The border should also be a higher priority for future public investment, according to a new report by Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration David Goodhart, The Border Audit: A post-Windrush review.

Trading Tigers

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Brexit offers the opportunity to join free trade deals with fast growing economies like members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – but only if the UK is free to make commitments on both goods and services, argues a new essay by Policy Exchange’s Head of Trade Policy Geoff Raby and Head of Economics Warwick Lightfoot.

Aiding the Enemy

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The UK urgently needs a new definition of treason that will recognise the nature of the threats we face today, argues a new paper from Policy Exchange, Aiding the Enemy: How and why to restore the law of treason, by Tom Tugendhat MP, Khalid Mahmood MP, Head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project Professor Richard Ekins and barrister and former army officer Patrick Hennessey.

Policy Exchange welcomes Hon James Mattis

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.

Where is the line between extremism and terrorism?

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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RT @WillHeaven On p.1 of today's @Telegraph and discussed in the Commons yesterday: the Home Secretary @sajidjavid will examine a new treason law to deal with returning Isis fighters, a cross-party proposal by @Policy_Exchange's Professor Richard Ekins - more here: policyexchange.org.u…