Engaging with Islamists: what makes us think it will ever work?

Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office Minister, has been engaging with political Islamists during his recent tour of the Middle East. Sir John Jenkins — former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and co-author of the Government’s Muslim Brotherhood Review of 2015 — looks at the lamentable historical record of such attempts at outreach, what to expect from them and how they could be improved.

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The Irish Border and Brexit: is Varadkar playing with fire?

Policy Exchange Chief Economist – and former Special Adviser to the Northern Ireland First Minister – Graham Gudgin responds to Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s proposals for the Irish Border to be moved to the Irish Sea after Brexit. Gudgin states that this new tough line from Dublin on the Irish Border is an unhelpful change of direction on an already complex issue — and that Varadkar’s decision to cease work on a potential electronic Border is particularly unwelcome. Moreover, his call in Belfast for the UK to negotiate a bespoke customs unions deal with the EU would require a special dispensation from the EU to allow the UK to agree new trade deals with third countries. This would be a major departure from EU practice — and is unlikely to be agreed.

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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.

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Thing to cut before the school curriculum: Call for Evidence

School budgets are now a matter of urgent concern — but in seeking savings, are schools making the best choices? Are school and system leaders thinking radically enough about how their organisations can change to meet the core needs of children in education? John Blake and Mark Lehain of Policy Exchange’s Education Unit — former teachers with two decades of front-line experience between them — offer suggestions, and seek the views of parents, teachers, governors, and other interested parties.

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Defence Secretary Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP speaks at Policy Exchange

The Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP addressed a record crowd at Policy Exchange’s summer reception — kindly sponsored by CQS. Sir Michael’s remarks about the need for military values to be considered more by politicians made it the most widely reported Policy Exchange Summer Party ever, including by Sky News, the BBC and the Huffington Post. He also paid tribute to Policy Exchange for our work “on lawfare and to enrich the debate on national security” — in reports such as The Fog of Law and Clearing the Fog of Law.

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Brexit: A Prize in Reach for the Left

Policy Exchange hosted Professor Richard Tuck, one of the world’s leading historians of ideas, to set out the case for Brexit as the best opportunity for the Left to bring about pure socialism. Labour MP Caroline Flint delivered the vote of thanks, in which she cautioned her colleagues that “We cannot spend the next 18 months voting down every one of the Tories’ EU Bills. If we do so, we will look like liars” in remarks covered by the Express, the Sun and Total Politics.

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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”.

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After Brexit: Will Ireland be next to exit?

In a flagship new report for Policy Exchange, former senior Irish Ambassador Ray Bassett argues that a failure to reach a benign compromise between the EU and the UK in Brexit negotiations risks seriously damaging the Irish economy. So far, the Irish Government has sided firmly with the EU27, but Bassett believes this may be a mistake given how intimately the Irish and British economies are connected. In the event of the UK leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, Ireland may be forced to follow suit, potentially even seeking its own “Irexit”.

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Defying Gravity: A critique of estimates of the economic impact of Brexit

The models used to assess the economic impact of Brexit were misleading, according to new analysis by Dr Graham Gudgin, Policy Exchange’s new Chief Economics Adviser and the co-author of the report. At the time, the projections made by the Treasury, OECD and IMF were used by the then government and Remain campaign to argue that the British economy would face a significant and permanent loss of income in the event of a vote to leave. A careful analysis of the gravity trade economic models used to generate these pessimistic projections suggests that the impact of Brexit on our economy will be much less significant than the economic consensus constructed at the time of the referendum.

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The panic about a Brexit legal limbo isn’t justified

Richard Ekins, Head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, addresses the way in which Lord Neuberger — the outgoing President of the Supreme Court — has called for Parliament to tell our judges very clearly how rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) are to be dealt with after Brexit.

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Beware the aftershocks of the youthquake – it’s a bit more complicated than that

John Blake — Policy Exchange’s Head of Education and Social Reform — enters the ongoing discussion about the ‘ever-vexed’ topic of university access. He argues that, regardless of the rising number of young people going on to higher education, ‘an 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background, indeed from any background, should face a choice beyond either a university place they may not really want (even on the generous loan terms we have) and nothing’.

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Latest News

Policy Exchange Judicial Power Project’s letter to Financial Times Editor published

Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project Head, Professor Richard Ekins and Professor Graham Gee wrote to the Financial Times in responce to a recent editorial, ‘Brexit places Britain’s judges in the line of fire’, explaining that it wrongly states that refusal to concede a continuing role for the European Court of Justice after Brexit creates a predicament for UK judges. Their letter, entitled ‘UK judges’ future looks robust, not fragile’ was published in the paper and online.

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Events


  • June 27, 2017
    11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Policy Exchange was delighted to host a seminar with Dr Geoff Raby, HE Alexander Downer AC, Dr Graham Gudgin, Rt Hon Peter Lilley, and Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP on trade policy post-Brexit

Location

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE


  • June 26, 2017
    11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Policy Exchange was delighted to host a talk by former New Scotland Yard Chief Officer Mak Chishty on the need for a new national strategy to combat violent extremism.

Location

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE

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