Policy Exchange was delighted to host an event today with the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Julie Bishop. She testified to the strength of the relationship between Australia and the UK ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth summit in April. She further discussed the recently published Australian foreign policy white paper and stressed the importance of protecting and bolstering the “international rules-based order” as the basis of global peace and prosperity. The Foreign Minister also said she embraced the concept of Global Britain, stressing the importance of the UK’s international role as a member of the UN Security Council.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, set out his vision for a liberal Brexit in a speech given at Policy Exchange.
Mr Johnson urged Remainers and Leavers to unite behind the opportunities that leaving the EU affords. He said that there is a case for future regulatory divergence from the EU: “We would be mad to go through this process of extrication from the EU, and not to take advantage of the economic freedoms it will bring.” In many areas, however, such as security co-operation and cultural exchange, there would continue to be high levels of engagement.
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.”
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, made the case for the free market in an event at Policy Exchange. Truss said that free enterprise has huge economic benefits, driving down prices and creating growth and jobs, and is intensely democratic and open, breaking down monopolies, hierarchies and outdated practices. She added that in the UK we are fortunate to live in one of the freest countries in the world – but warned of a rising Left that would remove economic freedom from individuals and families to the centre. Great economies, Truss said, are not driven forward by central planning but by the “freedom to be disagreeable”. She concluded that supporters of the free market must make the case for opportunities of future innovation, and how it will improve people’s lives.
With 9 million people reporting that they are always or often lonely, as a society have we structured loneliness into our lives? Loneliness can be triggered by moments of transition that can happen to us all: the birth of a child, retirement, relationship breakdown, being a newcomer to this country, returning from serving in our armed forces, starting university, moving home, bereavement. The places where we came together – like churches, pubs and the workplace – have changed out of all recognition. Many of our connections have been turned into transactions. Rachel Reeves MP, Co-Chair of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, set out what the Commission has learned and gave her thoughts on how we can create a less lonely world. Neil O’Brien OBE MP responded, with the discussion chaired by Daily Mirror Columnist Ros Wynne-Jones.
In a major new study for Policy Exchange, Sir Noel Malcolm, leading historian of ideas and Senior Adviser on Human Rights to Policy Exchange, argues that democracy is being eroded by an ever-expanding system of human rights law and condemns the encroachment of the European Court of Human Rights on democratically-elected parliaments. Sir Noel reaches the conclusion that the best way to protect human rights and align this protection with democratically accountable government is for the UK to leave the jurisdiction of the Court. He appeared on the Today programme to debate the issue with Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws QC, and a panel discussion on the book was covered in the Telegraph by Charles Moore, who described Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project as “a leader in the field”, as well as in The Times‘s legal diary.
Following the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan last week, Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project publish a report by unit head John Bew and David Martin Jones, Visiting Fellow at Policy Exchange. They advise that Asia is of growing strategic importance to the UK’s long-term prosperity but this is likely to mean more involvement in the region’s security problems. The first principle of UK involvement in Asia must be to bolster existing alliances and to preserve the existing international order, but it must be understood that this is likely to cause tension when it comes to relations with China.
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.
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.
Welcome shift of emphasis to vocational training but big questions for PM’s review of University funding
Policy Exchange’s Head of Education John Blake – himself a former teacher – examines the Prime Minister’s speech on tertiary education.
Today the Foreign Secretary gave a major speech at Policy Exchange – the first in a series by UK Ministers setting out the Government’s vision for Britain after Brexit. Our advice is simple – Britain should unilaterally drop tariffs and become a champion of free trade. This message has important, progressive consequences and is contained in Policy Exchange’s latest report.
The national interest is best served by an open debate on the impact of Brexit – not spurious comparisons
Dr Graham Gudgin – Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser – questions the use of emotive language by former civil servants when attacking those who question Treasury forecasting. Graham argues there is a place for legitimate scrutiny of forecasts which have proven inaccurate in the past.
Policy Exchange’s Director of Economics & Social Policy Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – appeared on the BBC to argue the case for reform of agriculture policy as Britain leaves the EU. Warwick pressed that farm policy is not currently aimed at supporting consumers and this should be reviewed as the UK moves away from the Common Agricultural Policy.
Policy Exchange’s Head of Security and Extremism Dr Martyn Frampton appeared in front of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee to give evidence to its inquiry on hate crime and its violent consequences.
Policy Exchange’s report on Small Modular Reactors featured in a Financial Times
- Thursday, 16 November, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
2017 is the 30th anniversary of Martin Bernal’s incendiary book Black Athena, which sent shockwaves through the worlds of classical and Afrocentric scholarship on its publication in 1987. In it, Bernal argued that classical Greek wisdom and culture (and thus the very basis of Western civilisation) in fact came from Africa, specifically ancient Egypt and Phoenicia, challenging many assumptions about the provenance of knowledge, and with it, historic intellectual justifications for white superiority. Policy Exchange will be seizing the opportunity afforded by this anniversary to re-examine the importance of Black Athena and investigate its intellectual, social and racial legacy.
Venue: Policy Exchange
- Tuesday, 14 November, 2017
12:30 - 14:00
Policy Exchange invites you to a discussion of the role of business energy productivity in delivering clean growth. Despite policymakers actively considering what to do next, there is still a need for significant thinking to progress from the generic barriers identified to the concrete policy recommendations set out in this report.
Venue: Policy Exchange
- Tuesday, 3 October, 2017
14:00 - 15:00
Is there a Zeitgeist shift to the Left? Or is the rise of Corbynism simply a passing reaction to the hubristic Conservative campaign of 2017? Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, George Freeman MP, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Sir Roger Scruton, and David Goodhart debated these issues on a panel chaired by Dean Godson for Policy Exchange’s best attended event at the Conservative Party Conference. New Statesman Editor Jason Cowley called it “The most stimulating event I attended” at the conference. Click here to watch.