North Korea – Is there a military option?
Leading South Korean General I-B Chun – former head of Korea’s Special Warfare Command – considered whether there is a military solution to the North Korean threat in an event at Policy Exchange. Chun warned that the North’s nuclear capability is not only directed at the United States; that we should all be worried about their cyber capability, indoctrination of children, that China would prefer a nuclear North Korea to a US-influenced state on its border. But he added: “I truly believe that my system of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights is far more powerful than any North Korean nuclear weapon.”
Special Briefing on the Worboys Case
Why are elected ministers are powerless in the face of the release of a serious offender? Policy Exchange’s Director of Research Rupert Oldham-Reid explores how politicians and the judiciary have transferred power (and hard decisions) from elected representatives to unelected officials.
Future farming policy to reward enhancing the environment – as called for by Policy Exchange
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that a post-Brexit agricultural policy will reward farmers for public goods rather than acreage – as recommended in Policy Exchange’s Farming Tomorrow. The paper says that flood prevention, tree planting and biodiversity should all be subsidised rather than food production.
Chief of Defence Staff echoes Policy Exchange warning on undersea cables
The Chief of the UK Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, has echoed Policy Exchange’s warnings about potential threats to the undersea communications cables that are vital to the internet and international commerce in the annual Chief of Defence Staff Lecture at the Royal United Services Institute. Sir Stuart’s comments come less than two weeks after the publication of our report Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure, which highlights that 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted by cables – but that those cables are highly vulnerable to attack from hostile states or terrorists.
New Anglo-American project launched with high-level conference in Washington
Policy Exchange launched our new Anglo-American project with a high level conference in Washington to debate US-UK Relations in a Changing World. Both the US National Security Adviser Lt Gen HR McMaster and the National Security Adviser to the British Prime Minister, Mark Sedwill CMG, spoke at the event – the first time the two holders of these positions have appeared together in public. The event attracted widespread media coverage including from Bloomberg, Newsweek, ABC News, Voice of America, Washington Times, The National, Mail Online and the New York Times.
In November 2016, days before the Supreme Court hearing in the Miller case, Professor Timothy Endicott (University of Oxford) delivered a lecture for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project on the royal prerogative. Reflecting its weight and importance, the lecture was relied on by the Government’s lawyers. Today, the Judicial Power Project publishes a revised and updated version of Professor Endicott’s lecture, with a foreword by Professor Sir Ross Cranston, recently retired from the High Court bench and former Solicitor General.
In a new paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, Professor Carol Harlow QC (Hon) looks at the problem of the judicialisation of administrative justice. After a homeless refugee turned down a flat on the grounds that the shape of its windows remind her of the prison in Iran where she was tortured, a housing officer concluded that this ended the local authority’s obligation to house her. That decision was then reviewed by one county court judge, three Court of Appeal judges, and five Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court’s involvement was necessary to rebuff attempts by the European Court of Human Rights to judicialise administrative law and practice. Professor Harlow’s paper commends the Supreme Court’s approach, arguing that it shows how domestic judges and lawmakers can form a “Parliament Square Axis” to limit European judicial overreach.
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.
US Army officer T.S. Allen discusses the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco) at last month’s European Council summit. While there may be benefits in terms of improvements in capabilities, there is a danger that Pesco represents a trend towards de-linking European defence from NATO in search of EU ‘strategic autonomy’.
The cost of energy is frequently cited as one of the issues voters care about most, but how can we bring costs down? Various new electricity generation technologies, like wave energy, tidal lagoons and small modular nuclear reactors, stand on the precipice of mass deployment. But industry alone may not be willing or able to make the leap from demonstration and commercial deployment. Should the Government intervene to help bridge the gap? In this article originally published in Business Green, Policy Exchange Research Fellow Matt Rooney explores the concept of ‘technological learning’. Can other technologies replicate the success of solar panels and wind turbines to bring costs down and make them competitive with established technologies?
Reviewing Lt Gen McMaster’s keynote speech at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference, Professor John Bew highlights how the new American National Security Strategy will refocus on ‘competitive engagement’, providing support for friendly countries on America’s security frontier while requesting greater ‘reciprocity’ from US allies. Professor Bew also suggests how this should be interpreted by the UK’s ongoing Capability Review. Read more here.
Policy Exchange Demography, Immigration and Integration Research Fellow Richard Norrie appeared in front of Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee to provide advice on the quality and usefulness of the data making up the Race Disparity Audit.
Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon James Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, to our offices. Secretary Mattis discussed the current global situation, a situation which includes the threats posed by North Korea and a Russia seeking to challenge the territorial integrity of its neighbours. He also spoke of the enduring importance of the UK–US Alliance and of Britain’s continued moral voice on the world stage, as Policy Exchange argued for in The Cost of Doing Nothing. He also praised Policy Exchange’s record of thought leadership in making the case for a Global Britain’s continued commitment to NATO.
Writing for the Evening Standard, Policy Exchange’s Co-Head of Security and Extremism Hannah Stuart challenges suggestions by new terrorism watchdog Max Hill QC that IS fighters returning from Syria are “naive” and should be “reintegrated”. Are they really “disillusioned”, she asks — or, as the caliphate crumbles, are these IS fighters merely running out of options?” Stuart argues that we have the legal armoury we need to deal these fighters, but that we need to use it more effectively. She also warns Max Hill QC against meeting Islamist groups who crave the legitimacy such meetings bestow.
- Monday, 18 September, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
Policy Exchange was delighted to host the launch of Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP’s new book ‘Taught Not Caught: Educating for 21st Century Character’. As Education Secretary from 2014-16, Nicky Morgan announced a GBP3.5m programme promoting classes and extra-curricular activities that build “grit” and “resilience” in a generation of schoolchildren. In her new book, she reveals why she believes that building characterful children has a positive impact on academic attainment and argues that public awareness of character education needs to be raised, so it is clear to those in the education system that this is a priority and they will support it.
- Wednesday, 13 September, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
Education improvement is a key objective of policy makers and educationalists around the world. To address this need Tim Oates CBE, Cambridge Assessment’s Director of Assessment Research and Development, has led research into and now written A Cambridge Approach to Improving Education – using international insights to manage complexity where he sets out his findings and guiding principles for policy makers. He addressed Policy Exchange, the UK’s most influential think tank on education in the past 15 years, to outline his findings and further the debate on how best to improve education here, and around the world. His talk was followed by a response from UCL’s Dr John Jerrim.
- Tuesday, 12 September, 2017
8:30 - 10:30
Policy Exchange hosted top experts from industry and Parliament for a debate on the future of Britain’s electricity system and the potential role of small modular nuclear reactors in meeting our energy needs. Rachel Reeves MP (Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee) introduced our distinguished panel of speakers including Rt Hon Lord Howell of Guildford (former Secretary of State for Energy), Harry Holt (President of Rolls-Royce Nuclear) and Dr Jenifer Baxter (Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers). Lord Howell’s comments on the opportunities Brexit presents for nuclear research were covered by the Telegraph.