Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, for the first of two Colin Cramphorn Memorial Lectures this year. He delivered his lecture, titled “The Importance of Being Candid: On China’s Relationship with the Rest of the World”, in Mandarin, speaking of a “new consensus” in the US, which bridges political divides and unites the whole of society, on the threat posed China’s “technologically enhanced totalitarianism”. Watch the speech here.
On Wednesday, October 28, Policy Exchange hosted Dr Kurt Campbell, former United States Assistant Secretary of State, and architect during the Obama administration of the “pivot” to Asia, for the second Colin Cramphorn memorial Lecture in 2020 on “The Future of the Indo Pacific”. Watch the speech here.
Dame Patricia Hodgson to chair Policy Exchange’s Reform of Government Commission on future of the Civil Service
Policy Exchange is today delighted to announce a Reform of Government Commission, Chaired by Dame Patricia Hodgson, which will examine how the Civil Service can be improved and modernised. Dame Patricia’s overview of the Commission’s work, which argues that “the unprecedented challenges which the UK faces require a fundamental assessment of how best the machinery of government can be envisioned and equipped for the new world,” can be read here.
The Reform of Government Commission will go back to first principles and ask: what sort of Civil Service do we want? What should its ethos be? How should accountability be maximised through clearer lines of responsibility? How can it better serve governments of all hues?
We will draw on the expertise of a wide range of leading practitioners. Focus groups, polling and an evidence-gathering “roadshow” will be used to produce authoritative, useful research that leads to better government.
The Government has announced a review of transport connectivity across the UK, in order to understand how it can support economic development and improve quality of life. The terms of reference emphasise “transport connectivity between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland via road, rail and air, and across the Irish Sea.” The announcement mirrors proposals in Policy Exchange’s 2019 report, Modernising the United Kingdom, which recommended that the Government should “announce a review of transport connections between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, focusing on air travel, sea travel and the capacity of road networks around airports and seaports” and that ministers should “lead a strategic infrastructure strategy to improve the economic connections between all parts of the country to reduce the disparities […]”. Read the report here.
Policy Exchange welcomed the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, to introduce a keynote speech by General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, on The Integrated Operating Concept.
In this major speech at an important juncture for UK defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff presented a new approach to the utility of armed force and integration of space, cyber and information, alongside the maritime, land and air domains. When speaking of the new concept he said, ‘this Integrated Operating Concept places a premium on operating, it also places a premium on adaptability – the ability to adapt to war fight.’
The event was chaired by General David Petraeus. You can watch the event here
The Health Secretary, who gave the first speech by a Cabinet minister after the election at Policy Exchange in December, outlined plans for the establishment of a new body – the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP). The NIHP will bring together the current responsibilities for infection and protection with the Government’s existing Track and Trace programme, as well as building on the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre. Mr Hancock said that the new organisation will bring together expertise to respond to the current pandemic, create resilience against future threats, and establish the right culture around collaboration.
The speech was the first Policy Exchange event to be conducted in front of a live audience since the start of the covid-19 pandemic. It was welcomed by Professor Maggie Ray, President of the UK Faculty of Public Heath, who said the setting up of the new agency was “really exciting” and pledged that her organisation wanted to work alongside the Health Secretary in the Government’s efforts to tackle future threats to public health.
To watch a recording of the livestream please click here.
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.
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.
“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 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
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
The Government should give anyone without a job who wants to start a new business £100 a week for a year, says a new report from Policy Exchange – published a day after unemployment surged to the highest level in over three years.
A labour market that works argues for a new 2020 Enterprise Allowance, based on a successful scheme launched in the 1980s.
It is backed by Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham, architect of the original idea during the unemployment crisis of the 1980s, who warns: “it is highly probable that we shall shortly face the highest increase in unemployment ever known.”
Since the 1980s, UK and EU energy markets have become increasingly intertwined. Brexit doesn’t have to set back the development of a secure, affordable, low-carbon energy system in the UK and the EU, but new approaches to will be needed.
In this paper, Policy Exchange explores new models for UK-EU energy cooperation based on shared interests in competitive energy markets, robust carbon pricing, and the sharing of renewable energy resources across borders.
Summary text: While one might question the Bill in many ways, says John Larkin QC, former Attorney General for Northern Ireland, it is badly mistaken to portray as “impunity” the Bill’s attempt to make limited provision for the future peace of mind of those from whom we ask so much.
The Government means to reform planning in order to allow more houses to be built. The Local Government Association tells us the Government is wrong.
Changes to the planning system are unnecessary, they argue, for it is developers who hold back housing delivery, not planners.
Austria (with which I should declare I have family ties) is perhaps more widely known for Apfelstrudel, the Salzburg Festival, alpine resorts and Conchita Würst than as a European policy leader. It’s been a while since Bruno Kreisky’s edgy Middle East activism or Vienna’s early – and highly effective – engagement with conflict issues in the former Yugoslavia. On most issues, the country has largely been content to position itself in the middle of the EU pack. All perfectly sensible.
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.
“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.
Peers debating the Queen’s Speech cited Policy Exchange research nine times in the House of Lords, covering a broad range of recently published research. Supporters and opponents alike acknowledged the influence of Policy Exchange papers such as Protecting the Constitution, a paper by Professor Richard Ekins published in late December. It was described as “the basis” of Government policy on constitutional reform by Lord Thomas of Gresford OBE QC, a Liberal Democrat peer.
Boris Johnson set out his vision for the United Kingdom on the steps of Downing Street yesterday – in the course of which he embraced many of the ideas championed by Policy Exchange in our series of policy proposals for the next Prime Minister.
- 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.