Speaking at the first such cross-party event in Westminster, General David Petraeus, former Commander, US Central Command, tells a packed Policy Exchange audience that expansion of European Human Rights law “is having a chilling effect on recruiting, retention & overall morale of British armed forces”. Watch the video here.
On the first day back after Parliamentary recess, Policy Exchange’s proposal to update the Law of Treason was raised by two former ministers as the House of Lords debated the Government’s latest Counter Terrorism Bill.
Former Defence and Northern Ireland Secretary Rt Hon Lord King noted: ‘One interesting suggestion has been promoted by Policy Exchange to meet the challenge of those who are betraying our country and are going out to fight and kill our forces. Australia and New Zealand have already taken action against people who are aiding the enemy by adapting the ancient law of treason to give a penalty of life imprisonment for people in that situation.’
Later in the debate, former Justice Minister Lord Faulks QC added ‘I also commend the recent Policy Exchange publication, Aiding the Enemy: How and Why to Restore the Law of Treason. Its authors include two Members of Parliament, one Labour and one Conservative, and it has a foreword by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge. It provides a compelling case for the return to the statute book of a modern law of treason—the 1351 statute is plainly no longer fit for purpose.’
Before the debate, head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project Professor Richard Ekins set out why an update to treason laws was needed to protect the UK from those that join terrorist groups or hostile nations. Click here to read his article.
Japan would welcome Britain to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal “with open arms”, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe told the Financial Times. His remarks confirm Policy Exchange’s recent findings in Trading Tigers, which argued that “UK membership would be attractive to Japan in view of the substantial Japanese investment flows to the UK and the addition of a sizeable market.”
Alexander Downer, Policy Exchange’s Chair and a former Australian Foreign Minister, said: “I warmly welcome Prime Minister Abe’s positive message on the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. Japan is the biggest member by a long way of the CP-TPP and other members are also likely to welcome the UK’s membership, as Australia has. There are not going to be any problems, as long as the UK signs up to the rules of membership.”
Read the research paper, by Dr Geoff Raby, Head of Trade Policy, and Warwick Lightfoot, Head of Economics, here.
Speaking at Policy Exchange’s annual reception at Conservative Party Conference, the Home Secretary said: “If I think about the policies regarding all the different roles I’ve had in Government – in every different role I’ve had there’s always been something from Policy Exchange that has helped us shape policy and have a real impact.
“Even now for me the work you are doing on counter-extremism, the work that’s been done on immigration, especially post-Windrush on what lessons we can learn, but also more broadly in politics the work you’ve done on being more civil in politics – you’re raising the tone of politics which I think is hugely important.” Watch the video of that event and more here.
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.
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 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.
The Government has announced that the proposed tidal lagoon will not go ahead, 18 months after Policy Exchange raised questions. The robust independent analysis of the scheme by Policy Exchange is credited as having provided ballast for government thinking.
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.
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.
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.
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