May 21, 2018
The State of the Union is a new paper by renowned historian Professor Arthur Aughey, of Ulster University, in which he says by any comparative international standards, the Union has proved both successful and durable as an arrangement of state. When placed in the broadest international context, the United Kingdom can sometimes look like an oddity. But the Union on which it is predicated is a remarkably enduring constitutional arrangement and a surprisingly cohesive national state.
May 10, 2018
London needs to build 66,000 new homes a year. But with the population projected to grow by 70,000 a year up to 10.5 million by 2041, London also needs schools, shops, amenities and space for tens of thousands of new jobs. To prepare for and accommodate such levels of growth we must make the very best use of land in the capital. Yet despite the Mayoral drive to increase densities in London, too much space is wasted across the city on sites currently occupied by single-storey big box retail and industrial sheds. In this report we argue for the redevelopment of “Boxland” into genuinely mixed use neighbourhoods where people want to live.
May 9, 2018
The Irish border is not the insoluble obstacle to Brexit negotiations that it has been made out to be and the UK can leave the single market and customs union while preserving a frictionless border in Ireland. This can be achieved by the use of new technology and in the context of a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and EU, in an arrangement that goes beyond the Customs Partnership and in no way threatens the Good Friday Agreement.
April 18, 2018
Can the UK lead the world in the development and production of batteries for electric cars? This is the stated aim of the government’s support programme for the battery sector. Yet, in the light of the current state of the UK battery sector and the strength of international competition, world leadership in car batteries is almost certainly unattainable. If the demand for electric cars grows as fast as many forecasters expect, investment in battery production should be financed by the private sector, argues Sir Geoffrey Owen, Policy Exchange’s Head of Industrial Policy and a former editor of the Financial Times, in a new paper Batteries for Electric Cars: A case study in industrial strategy.
March 19, 2018
As Putin celebrates another election victory, today’s Labour party should remember that there can be no coherent response to the Russian provocation without an appreciation of how our collective security is underscored by NATO and the role Labour played in its creation. In a new essay, In Defence of Collective Security, Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project and an award winning biographer of Clement Attlee, argues that our current system of Western security, based on NATO, was painstakingly put in place by Attlee and Ernest Bevin and that the current Labour leadership betrays that legacy.
March 14, 2018
In the UNISON case, the Supreme Court quashed the Government’s use of its statutory power to impose fees for employment tribunal proceedings. It ruled that the fees were unlawful because the level at which they had been set had the effect in practice of limiting access to justice. The judgment has been widely hailed as a victory for access to justice and another case in which courts have defended the rule of law from the executive. In this new paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, former First Parliamentary Counsel Sir Stephen Laws argues that the Supreme Court went badly wrong in the UNISON case, taking over a policy question that was not for it to decide.
March 9, 2018
High-quality textbooks and teaching methods are needed to ensure children from all backgrounds receive the rigorous education they deserve. According this new Policy Exchange report, inadequate materials for teaching the National Curriculum are holding back pupils in England and increasing teacher workload. Working in collaboration with respected institutions like the British Museum, the Government should support the creation and take-up of world-leading curriculum materials.
March 2, 2018
In a new paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project the Honourable Dyson Heydon AC QC, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, challenges the conventional wisdom that suggests that criticism of judges by politicians damages judicial independence, and upends the commonplace claim that says that judicial decisions should not be criticized because it is not open to judges to defend themselves.
March 1, 2018
The Honourable Dyson Heydon AC QC, former Justice of the High Court of Australia and one of the common-law world’s foremost figures, warns that the phenomenon of rising judicial power across much of the common law world represents a “silent revolution” that has occurred largely without parliamentary sanction.
February 12, 2018
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.”
February 5, 2018
Policy Exchange is delighted to announce that Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project, has been appointed as a specialist adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry into ‘Global Britain’. To mark that appointment, we publish a new reading list, Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world, compiled by Professor Bew, Gabriel Elefteriu, Jamie Gaskarth and Patrick Porter.
January 31, 2018
A post-Brexit immigration system should clamp down on low-skilled EU immigration but adopt a lighter-touch approach for students and professionals, argues Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration, David Goodhart, in a new paper Immigration After Brexit. As Britain considers its long term immigration needs, there is scope to maintain a high level of continuity for groups such as EU students and tourists. There should be a customised “light touch” work permit system for EU professionals and — as Britain weans itself off low skilled migration — there should be priority for low skilled workers ready to work antisocial hours, thereby acting more as complements than direct competitors to the British workforce.
January 25, 2018
Small modular nuclear reactors could be a crucial technology in the drive to decarbonise our energy system, according to Small Modular Reactors: The next big thing in energy? The increased take-up of electric vehicles, the general electrification of our energy system and the need to decarbonise all sectors of our economy mean we need new low carbon sources of electricity and heat to replace existing capacity and meet rising future demands. We need a reliable and affordable low-carbon form of energy – small modular reactors have the potential to be that technology.
December 12, 2017
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.
December 1, 2017
We must do more to protect the indispensable yet insecure internet infrastructure provided by undersea cables, urges Rishi Sunak MP in a new report published by Policy Exchange, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure. 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted not by satellites in the skies, but by cables lying deep beneath the ocean. Undersea cables are the indispensable infrastructure of our time, essential to our modern life and digital economy, yet they are inadequately protected and highly vulnerable to attack at sea and on land, from both hostile states and terrorists.
November 6, 2017
This new Policy Exchange report, published today — written by Economic and Social Policy Research Fellow, Jonathan Dupont — recommends that the UK should double the proportion of its international aid budget spent on research and development, in order to solve the most pressing global challenges and support the Government’s Industrial Strategy. George Freeman MP, Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum, has written a Foreword for the report.
September 23, 2017
Nearly three quarters of the British public want the big internet companies to do more to locate and delete extremist content and believe that they are not doing enough to combat radicalisation, according to polling conducted for Policy Exchange’s latest report The New Netwar: Countering Online Extremism. Commenting on this Policy Exchange study, Home Secretary Amber Rudd noted on her Department’s official website that “We know that Daesh pose a threat online and this report helps to highlight the scale of the issue.” The report received widespread domestic and international media coverage: General David Petraeus, who wrote the report’s Foreword, appeared on the Today programme and wrote for the Times. Dr Martyn Frampton’s broadcast appearances included Good Morning Britain, BBC World Service, Radio 5 Live and LBC.
September 4, 2017
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.
August 1, 2017
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.
September 22, 2017
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.
July 5, 2017
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”.
July 3, 2017
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”.
March 29, 2015
Clearing the Fog of Law shows that misguided human rights laws mean British troops operating in the heat of battle are now being held to the same standard as police officers patrolling the streets on a Saturday night in the West End. The report calls for British forces to operate under the rules of the Geneva Conventions, rather than the ECHR, in future conflicts.
September 25, 2017
The Government should establish a new Energy Efficiency Delivery Unit and Energy Performance Certificates should be linked to business rates to incentivise landlords to invest more in energy efficiency, according to Clean Growth, the new report from Policy Exchange’s influential and expert Energy and Environment team. The report calls for a new approach by Government to encourage investment in business energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions and improve business productivity. Existing tools like the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme can be much better used – and must be extended to public sector institutions like the NHS and MoD.
June 26, 2017
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.
September 7, 2017
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.
September 4, 2017
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.
March 28, 2017
A new paper from Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project, examining the future of NATO. The paper argues that current events, from Russian aggression to the EU’s internal politics, mean that NATO is weakening at a time when security challenges are growing
June 26, 2017
In this major new report — by Policy Exchange’s Head of Energy and Environment, Richard Howard, alongside Matt Rooney, Zoe Begherbi, and David Charlesworth — the case is set out that the Government must take more action now to tackle the twin problems of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from road transport. Amongst other key findings, the report’s analysis reveals that hitting carbon targets will leave a £9-23 billion p.a. hole in tax receipts by 2030, and that official estimates of vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency are highly misleading.
March 1, 2017
Brexit presents a huge opportunity for the UK Government to develop a new approach to waste and resources policy. Rather than adopting the EU’s proposed ‘Circular Economy Package’, which would cost British businesses an extra £2 billion over the next twenty years, the British government should use Brexit to define our own approach.