April 14, 2021
Environmental Affairs is Policy Exchange’s quarterly journal, which explores the implications of the growing role of environmental policy. As environmental questions are increasingly felt in other areas, from economics, to security, to foreign affairs, we look at what these overlaps will mean. Our contributors are world leaders, distinguished thinkers and experts in their fields, drawn from the UK and around the world.
March 30, 2021
Place matters profoundly to people. We invest more resources in our homes than in anything else, and by some measures we spend more time gardening than we do on any other pastime. This is no less true of our shared home. Protecting the countryside from suburban sprawl has substantial costs in terms of foregone economic growth, but green belts are widely supported, and were introduced only after a huge grassroots campaign for them.
March 19, 2021
This paper traces the history of several judicially demanded or created obstacles to preventing unlawful entry or removing illegal migrants. The decisions to create these obstacles, it argues, were well-motivated but unauthorised and even unprincipled. This is a story in which European courts and our own courts all have a part.
March 14, 2021
Since the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020, a number of councils across England and Wales have stated their commitment to reviewing local street names and—where these are deemed to have a contentious history—to considering renaming them. In several instances, the decision-making process with regards street name alteration has excluded residents and locals, in spite of the immense direct impact street renaming has on a street’s residents.
March 12, 2021
The Independent Review of Administrative Law has been established because of a breakdown of trust between the political institutions of the constitution, namely Parliament and Her Majesty’s Government, on the hand, and the judiciary on the other. This is a serious situation that must be addressed.
March 9, 2021
This paper draws together analysis from the range of Policy Exchange’s experts – in Law & Constitution, Trade & Economics, Immigration & Policing, Energy & Environment, Health & Social Care – of the new freedoms and opportunities open to the United Kingdom under the terms of the new relationship with the European Union.
March 2, 2021
In 2021, the UK will host the G7 and COP26 and take a key part in other major summits, giving it a unique opportunity to lead the global diplomatic agenda. This report argues that he UK should use its position to drive a programme of green finance reforms that will enable a fundamental shift to a sustainable global economy.
March 1, 2021
The UK needs a modern economic policy that is tailored to the opportunities and constraints of the contemporary international economy. In response to the economic shock of the Covid public health crisis and a decade of slow growth and economic stagnation it needs a confident and audacious policy of macro-economic management and supply-side reform.
February 28, 2021
On 11 February 2021, Churchill College, Cambridge – in collaboration with the Churchill Archive Centre, which is part of the College – hosted the second event in its year-long series ‘Churchill, Race and Empire’. It featured a panel discussion entitled ‘The Racial Consequences of Churchill’, during which a series of factually incorrect and profoundly offensive remarks were made by the three panellists – Dr Onyeka Nubia (Nottingham University), Dr Madhusree Mukerjee and Professor Kehinde Andrews (Birmingham City University) – and also by the Chair, Professor Priyamvada Gopal (Churchill College, Cambridge), about Sir Winston Churchill and concerning several major historical events.
February 17, 2021
Britain needs more housing. But, so often, local residents justifiably believe that new housing in their area means a loss of public goods and amenities for them. This has led to a zero sum struggle where the debate is over who ought to be a winner and who ought to be a loser. Policy Exchange’s new paper Strong Suburbs cuts through that false dichotomy, providing a mechanism for local residents to benefit from, and control, new development.
February 9, 2021
The system for appointing senior judges needs to be reformed. In this paper, we explain what has gone wrong and what should now be done to put it right. We take senior appointments to include the High Court, the Court of Appeal, leadership roles such as the Lord Chief Justice (the Head of the Judiciary in England and Wales) and Heads of Division (Master of the Rolls, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, President of the Family Division, and Chancellor of the High Court) and the Supreme Court. Our focus is therefore only on appointments to senior courts in England and Wales and to the UK Supreme Court, and not to senior judicial offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
February 7, 2021
This paper’s contribution to the housing policy debate is to outline the policies that are needed on the demand side. Too often, on the demand side, the Government’s policy interventions have resulted in higher house prices, exacerbating the challenge facing buyers. Now, there needs to be a shift away from direct interventions such as help to buy or temporary freezes in stamp duty, says Gerard Lyons.
February 2, 2021
The UK’s commitment to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 was at the heart of the Prime Minister’s recent ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’. This commitment reflects both sharp reductions in the cost of electric vehicles (EVs) and the urgent need to clean up the transport sector, which is now the UK’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
February 1, 2021
The UK’s Washington embassy – the flagship for its global diplomatic operation – needs a shake-up to secure British influence with the Biden administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress. A ‘Washington strategy’ for British diplomacy, authored by the journalist and think-tanker Ben Judah, urges the Government to “recognise the need for radical diplomatic change in a post-Brexit and post-Trump world”.
January 26, 2021
We are now into the eighth week of the national vaccine rollout. The programme has in many ways already been hugely successful with 6.5 million people, more than one in ten adults in the UK, receiving their first dose, at a rate that is unmatched in Europe. The Government, NHS England and the devolved administrations have continued to ramp up deployment and are on course to meet an ambitious target of offering the first dose of the vaccine to cohorts 1-4 by mid-February. However, a lack of sufficient detail and transparency over data collection will hinder the ability to monitor successes or failures beyond these headlines. This short paper identifies a number of areas where further action should be taken, including a redoubling of efforts to vaccinate harder-to-reach groups such as the most disadvantaged and ethnic minorities.
January 20, 2021
This short paper sets out ten ways in which the Overseas Operations Bill could be amended to improve its effectiveness and to minimise the risk of unintended consequences. None of the proposed changes are wrecking amendments. Like many parliamentarians, we share the concern about the way in which the law has been applied to UK forces and about the risks that litigation may pose to the UK’s capacity to defend itself. But legislation to correct these problems must be carefully framed. The ten changes we propose for Parliament’s consideration (the first two of which are alternatives to each other) would, in our view, help to minimise the objections that have been made to the Bill while improving the Bill’s effectiveness as a means to secure the Government’s intended policy.
January 8, 2021
The evolving Austrian debate on Islamism – reflecting in turn a growing public understanding of the issues over the last decade – continues to be of great interest to anyone concerned with the future of a liberal democratic state system. In France, the Macron government has been spurred into action by acts of terror. In Italy successive governments have for years used their long experience with combating organised crime to remove Islamist hate-preachers and others who undermine social cohesion with admirable expedition. In Germany concern about Islamism is at last gaining traction beyond the intelligence agencies. But it is in Austria over the last three years that the public and now governmental focus on the subject has in some ways been most sustained and instructive.
December 27, 2020
This paper is the text of a submission made on behalf of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project to the Independent Review of Administrative Law. It complements the related submission made by Sir Stephen Laws. Since its foundation, a little over five years ago, Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project has argued that the inflation of judicial power unsettles the balance of our constitution and threatens to compromise parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, and effective government. While the inflation has in part been a function of human rights law and European integration, the Project has consistently argued that it also arises in the context of “ordinary” judicial review and statutory interpretation – a number of high-profile cases decided between 2015 and 2020 confirm the point.
December 7, 2020
The UK Government’s commitment to quadruple offshore wind capacity by 2030 will transform Great Britain’s electricity system. However, it poses serious challenges for the electricity market. Market conditions during the summer lockdown showed that the Government needs to make reforms, otherwise costs will rise and customers won’t benefit from the falling cost of wind and solar.
November 30, 2020
This paper calls for a pro-growth economic strategy as the best way to address Britain’s fiscal position.
Fiscal principles for the future is co-authored by Gerard Lyons, Graham Gudgin, Warwick Lightfoot and Jan Zeber.
Dr Gerard Lyons, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, said: “It is right to use fiscal policy as a shock absorber, to avoid premature tightening and to direct spending towards capital investment and public services. The main focus has to be on a pro-growth agenda, that reduces unemployment and allows the economy to recover.”
November 28, 2020
What word should we use to describe those who resort to violence in the name of Islam? This question has recently been the cause of much angst and uncertainty in official circles – and nowhere more so than within the ranks of the British police. In July of this year, reports surfaced that through its Counter Terrorism Advisory Network, the Metropolitan Police had held a consultation on finding an alternative to the term ‘Islamist terrorism’—with Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of national counter terrorism policing, and Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, National Coordinator for Prevent policing, both attending the online meeting.
November 25, 2020
This is the seventh edition of our rolling compendium, which attempts to draw together a range of recent developments that 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 educational curricula. In cataloguing these examples, we do not offer any judgment on the actions of the individual or institution in question, today or in the past. Our aim is simply to provide a clear documentary record of what is happening – which can help inform public debate on these issues. At present, the evidence confirms that history is the most active front in a new culture war, and that action is being taken widely and quickly in a way that does not reflect public opinion or growing concern over our treatment of the past.
This is the sixth edition of our rolling compendium, which attempts to draw together a range of recent developments that 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 educational curricula. In cataloguing these examples, we do not offer any judgment on the actions of the individual or institution in question, today or in the past. Our aim is simply to provide a clear documentary record of what is happening – which can help inform public debate on these issues. At present, the evidence confirms that history is the most active front in a new culture war, and that action is being taken widely and quickly in a way that does not reflect public opinion or growing concern over our treatment of the past.
November 22, 2020
Policy Exchange has convened a distinguished international Indo-Pacific Commission of current and former political leaders, military leaders, and thought leaders to help frame the scope of what a new UK strategy in the Indo-Pacific should be. Chaired by Rt Hon Stephen J Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, Policy Exchange’s Indo-Pacific Commission represents the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Each commissioner brought their particular expertise and experience to the Commission’s discussions and drafting, and this report reflects a broad consensus of views on Britain’s role in the Indo-Pacific region.
November 10, 2020
For far too long our healthcare policy has been focused on an institution, the NHS, rather than the health and wellbeing of the population as a whole. The COVID 19 pandemic has exposed the flaws of this approach. High rates of obesity, increasing health inequality and stalling life expectancy have all translated into a higher death rate recorded from the pandemic.
November 5, 2020
Edward Peck argues that most of the renewed investment in technical skills should be delivered by universities and especially new universities like his own, Nottingham Trent. He makes an imaginative pitch for a repurposing of parts of higher education and for something like the reinvention of “applied universities”, the old polytechnics in new form.
November 3, 2020
The North Sea is strategically central to meeting the UK’s target of Net Zero emissions by 2050. By fully developing offshore wind, the North Sea could provide one-third of the UK’s energy needs, and this proportion will grow if low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) are also fully developed.
November 1, 2020
This paper focuses on how central banks have responded since March to the Covid crisis, explores the discrete episodes such as the liquidity crisis in the Spring and the evidence of companies borrowing to accumulate cash and the equity price boom that has followed the huge injections of liquidity into the international financial system. It offers an impression of where policy makers are and the limits that central banks confront in a low interest rate environment where monetary policy has no more space left and is not effective.
October 30, 2020
The UK is one of the world’s leading maritime nations. As it leaves the European Union, Britain’s status as a leading economic and geo-political power depends upon the strength of its maritime industry. This paper, co-authored by former Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, highlights the difficulties facing the maritime sector and shows how support for our ports, shipping companies, shipbuilders and others can play a central role in the delivery of Government priorities such as the levelling-up agenda, making a success of Brexit, encouraging international trade, and supporting clean growth.
October 28, 2020
There has been much comment recently about a debate within certain official circles in the UK about the appropriate terminology to be adopted when describing, reporting or commenting on acts of extremist violence committed in the name of Islam. Senior officers within the Metropolitan Police Force in particular seem exercised over this issue. It has reportedly been argued that the use of terms such as ‘Islamism’ or ‘Islamist’ is prejudicial to Muslims and damaging to social cohesion on the grounds that what Islamists believe and do is un-Islamic. Critics of the use of these terms wish instead to use some such term as ‘faith-based violence’ or ‘irhabi’ (the generic modern Arabic word for ‘terrorist’), which does not name the religion and, they claim, would be more palatable for Muslims. The Deputy Commander of CT in the MPC, Nik Adams, has been quoted as welcoming the debate and promising to listen to the ‘community’.