Policy Exchange announces Indo-Pacific Commission

Policy Exchange, Britain’s most influential think tank, today announces the launch of a new international commission on the Indo-Pacific led by the former Canadian Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Stephen Harper. The Indo-Pacific Commission will include diplomats, politicians and military and civil leaders drawn from the United Kingdom, the United States and across the Indo-Pacific region – including Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. The aim of the Commission is to write the blueprint for a new strategic approach to the region, examining questions of trade, diplomacy, politics, defence and security that centre on the Indo-Pacific. Read more here and Rt Hon Stephen Harper’s op-ed in The Daily Telegraph.

Policy Exchange launches History Matters project

More than two thirds of the British public are concerned that “a minority of political activists are being given too much say over how Britain treats its monuments,” according to polling published by Policy Exchange to mark the launch of its new History Matters Project, chaired by Trevor Phillips. The polling also reveals rock bottom support for removing historical statues, including Winston Churchill’s in Parliament Square.

Policy Exchange has also issued a call for evidence on the rewriting of the UK’s history and has published a compendium of evidence gathered so far, drawing together a range of recent developments, which all turn on the place of history in the public square – including the removal of certain statues on public display, the renaming of buildings and places, and changes to the way history is taught in university curriculums. Read the announcement, and the compendium, as well as an article by Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, a member of the History Matters panel, on Conservative Home.

Global Britain and the CPTPP: Policy Exchange webinar

Policy Exchange is bringing together high-profile and leading figures from across the world to explore the economic and strategic case for UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). We will be joined by Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for International Trade; Hon Tony Abbott AC, 28th Prime Minister of Australia; Rt Hon Stephen J. Harper, 22nd Prime Minister of Canada; Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, former First Secretary of State and former European Commissioner for Trade; and Hon Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore.


Signed by 11 countries around the Pacific rim, CPTPP is the largest free trade zone in the region and the third-largest in the world. This webinar will examine how accession to the CPTPP would fit with the UK’s broader trade and foreign policy priorities, and what UK membership of the CPTPP would contribute to the existing membership.

The event will be live streamed and you can register here.

The Other Global Crisis: Policy Exchange webinar

Policy Exchange hosted Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, and former Governor of the Bank of England, in conversation with Hon Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister of Australia, in a webinar chaired by Juliet Samuel, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and Telegraph columnist. Among other questions, they discussed how to achieve net zero and what the coronavirus crisis can teach us about dealing with climate change. Watch the video on YouTube 

China policy after coronavirus: Policy Exchange webinar

Continuing our series on policy responses to the Coronavirus outbreak, Policy Exchange hosted its second online webinar, ‘China policy after Corona: is a shift needed?’ We were joined by Lt Gen H R McMaster, former US National Security Advisor to President Trump; Rt Hon Lord Hague of Richmond, former Foreign Secretary; Hon Alexander Downer AC, former Foreign Minister of Australia and Policy Exchange Chairman of Trustees; Julianne Smith, Director Asia Programme, German Marshall Fund of the US and former Deputy National Security Advisor to US Vice President Joe Bidenand Lord Wood of Anfield, former Foreign Policy Adviser to Gordon Brown.

The event was chaired by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange. Watch it on YouTube here.

The UK Economy and Coronavirus Crisis Webinar

‘Everything is different now: the UK economy and the Coronavirus crisis’ was the subject of Policy Exchange’s first public webinar. Our speakers included the main triumvirate who led the policy response to the 2008 economic crisis – Rt Hon Lord Darling of Roulanish, former Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord King of Lothbury, former Governor of the Bank of England; Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court, former Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury – as well as Dr Gerard Lyons, newly appointed Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange. The event was chaired by Juliet Samuel, Telegraph columnist and Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange.

The event was covered by The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and ITV News among other outlets.

The return of onshore wind

The next round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme will be inclusive of more forms of renewable energy, including onshore wind, solar and floating offshore wind developments, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, announced yesterday. The new policy reflects a key recommendation made in Policy Exchange’s 2015 report, Powering Up: The future of onshore wind in the UKwhich argued for the continuing inclusion of new and repowered wind projects under the CfD scheme at a time when the policy of excluding onshore wind from future CfD auction rounds was emerging.

Policy Exchange is ‘pre-eminent think tank in Westminster,’ says Iain Dale

“If anyone was to draw up a list of the top twenty most influential think tanks in Westminster, can anyone seriously doubt that Policy Exchange would be at number one?” That’s the verdict of Iain Dale in the LBC presenter’s latest column for Conservative Home. He calls Policy Exchange “the pre-eminent think tank in the Westminster village” and notes our unique convening power, saying: “There are few organisations that could attract power players like Mark Carney and Alan Greenspan, or Dominic Raab and Mike Pompeo to appear on its platforms.”

Policy Exchange hosts US Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, to speak on “The Future of the Special Relationship”, in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, the Foreign Secretary, at an event in Westminster. The discussion – which ranged from Brexit to the rise of China – was moderated by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange. Watch the full video here, and read coverage in The Express

Modernising the UK

The Sun reported that the Government is considering a Department for the Union to strengthen the bonds between the nations, as recommended in Policy Exchange’s Modernising the United Kingdom paper. This follows the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee backing Policy Exchange’s proposals to increase the number of sporting events that must be shown on free-to-air TV, for example women’s national football tournaments and test cricket in Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Manifesto wins

Policy Exchange was delighted that the party election manifestos reflected the priorities of our cross-party research since the last general election (and even earlier). Ideas from at least 24 papers were contained in the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green 2019 manifestos – from social care to education, farming to judicial power. Explore the infographic showing which ideas were adopted by the different parties here.

Policy Exchange hosts Prime Minister for the launch of the authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher

Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange, was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, to the official launch of the final volume of Charles Moore’s authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, Herself Alone.

The event, hosted by Policy Exchange, was the Prime Minister’s first visit to a think tank since he took office. It was attended by some of the surviving dramatis personae from the Thatcher era and other senior figures from the world of politics, journalism and public life.

The Prime Minister praised the biography, saying, it is “not just the greatest recent work of biography but… also, in our lifetimes, the greatest work of modern British history”. Charles Moore, the author of the 20-year project, is a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and was previously Chairman of the Trustees. Watch the video of the speeches on YouTube

Academic freedom in the UK

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Britain’s universities are world-leading. Yet there is growing concern that academic freedom in these institutions is being undermined in a way that departs from the liberal traditions and democratic norms of British society. This paper uses one of the largest representative samples of UK- based academics carried out in recent years to explore the concern that strongly-held political attitudes are restricting the freedom of those who disagree to research and teach on contested subjects. The report sets out what might be done, in the form of legislation—specifically an Academic Freedom Bill—and other measures to ensure that a) universities support intellectual dissent, which drives progress and innovation and b) all lawful speech is protected on campus.

Route ‘35

Transport is now the UK’s biggest source of climate-warming greenhouse gases. While other sectors slash their emissions, cars continue to produce 15% of our annual emissions, and the figure is still rising.

To solve this, the Government plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2035. Here Policy Exchange sets out how this can be achieved, following best international practice.

Farming is key to a UK-US trade deal, whoever is president

Later this month, the UK and the US will conduct the third round of talks on a new trade agreement. The successful conclusion of a deal with the US will be challenging but would provide a major strategic prize for the UK, as I explain in a new report for Policy Exchange released today, “The art of a UK-US trade deal”. The paper looks at the challenges and opportunities facing negotiators over the coming months.

Why universities had to be challenged

It is now official. The helter skelter expansion of UK higher education ushered in 21 years ago by Tony Blair’s pledge to send half of school leavers to university is now at an end.

And the announcement by the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, came not a moment too soon. The headlong rush into mass academic higher education, leapfrogging even the US, happened faster in the UK than in most other comparable countries and it seemed to happen on automatic pilot, with remarkably little thought given to the economic or social consequences. The only serious debate we ever had was on tuition fees.

Scrapping the scrappage scheme

It is welcome news that UK Government has dismissed reports that it was considering a scrappage scheme for petrol and diesel cars as a short-term economic stimulus measure. In a typical scrappage scheme, the government would pay car owners to scrap their current vehicle in return for credit against a new one, thereby stimulating the manufacturing sector. However, scrappage schemes are generally not a desirable policy, because they tend to be an inefficient use of public funds, work against the grain of transport decarbonisation, and send mixed price signals alongside Electric Vehicle subsidies.

DARPA and the American Approach

Policy Exchange’s Visiting Scholar, Dr William Schneider Jr, delivered a keynote speech on “Delivering National Scientific & Technological Advantage: DARPA and the American Approach”. As a former Chairman of the US Defense Science Board, Dr Schneider is a leading authority on strategic innovation and tech R&D. His wide-ranging speech addressed issues including the evolution of national defence technologies, space security and how to help create high-tech innovation. You can watch a video of the event here and read his paper here.

Policy Exchange sets out major planning reforms

A major new Policy Exchange report has called for a complete overhaul of the planning system by the Government. The report was covered in The Times whose article said Policy Exchange’s proposals were being “seriously looked at” by the No 10 policy unit. It was also featured in The Sun, ConservativeHome and on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Policy Exchange in the Economist

“Place is regaining its importance in British politics,” according to The Economist’s Bagehot column, which cited Dean Godson, Policy Exchange’s Director, on the “somewhereisation” of UK politics, and David Goodhart, author of The Road to Somewhere and Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography. Read the article here.


  • Thursday, 7 May, 2020
    10:00 - 11:30

Policy Exchange hosted Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, and former Governor of the Bank of England, in conversation with Hon Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister of Australia, in a webinar chaired by Juliet Samuel, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and Telegraph columnist. Among other questions, they discussed how to achieve net zero and what the coronavirus crisis can teach us about dealing with climate change.


  • Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
    11:00 - 12:00

Policy Exchange’s first public webinar, our speakers included the main triumvirate who led the policy response to the 2008 economic crisis – Rt Hon Lord Darling of Roulanish, former Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord King of Lothbury, former Governor of the Bank of England; Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court, former Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury – as well as Dr Gerard Lyons, newly appointed Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange. The event was chaired by Juliet Samuel, Telegraph columnist and Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange.


  • Thursday, 30 January, 2020
    11:00 - 12:25

Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon Michael R. Pompeo, United States Secretary of State, to speak on “The Future of the Special Relationship” in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, moderated by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange.

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