Publications Archive

February 1, 2021

by Ben Judah

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

by Robert Ede and Sean Phillips

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

by Richard Ekins and John Larkin

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

by Sir John Jenkins and Clarisse Pásztory

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

by Richard Ekins

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

by Ed Birkett and Benedict McAleenan

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

by Gerard Lyons, Dr Graham Gudgin, Warwick Lightfoot and Jan Zeber

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

by Sir John Jenkins, Dr Martyn Frampton and Tom Wilson

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

by Alexander Gray

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.

by Alexander Gray

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

by Policy Exchange

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

by Richard Sloggett

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

by David Goodhart, Professor Edward Peck, Rich Pickford and Will Rossiter

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

by William Nicolle, Benedict McAleenan and Ed Birkett

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

by Warwick Lightfoot

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

by Nusrat Ghani MP, Benjamin Barnard, Dominic Walsh and William Nicolle

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

by Policy Exchange

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’.

by Policy Exchange

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’.

October 26, 2020

by Benjamin Barnard

Every day we have to prove that we are who we say are. At present, proving one’s identity online can be cumbersome and difficult in the UK, so citizens often end up sending sensitive documents, such as passports and driving licenses, by post. This report, by Benjamin Barnard, argues that the Government needs to develop better systems to allow people to create and use ‘digital identities’ to prove their identity online, which could prevent billions of pounds of fraud a year.

October 24, 2020

by Alessio Patalano

On Friday 28 August 2020 Japan’s longest serving Prime Minster, Shinzo Abe, announced that due to deteriorating health conditions he had to step down. During his tenure, Abe arguably conducted the most significant strategic reset of Japanese foreign and security policy since the 1950s. This paper reviews how Abe brought about such changes and why these matter to the UK. Experts have already started to examine different aspects of Abe’s policy reforms, their shortcomings, and their impact in the foreseeable future. This paper benefits from this literature – which includes fair criticisms of Abe’s reforms but it also agrees that their most significant legacy rests on a strengthened international outlook. Yet, the paper seeks to draw specific attention to why and how Abe’s Japan should be a case of particular relevance to the UK.

October 20, 2020

by Alexander Gray

This is the fifth 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.

October 19, 2020

by Policy Exchange

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.

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.

October 14, 2020

by Warwick Lightfoot and Jan Zeber

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.”

September 28, 2020

by Ed Birkett

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.

September 24, 2020

by Alexander Gray

This is the fourth 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.

September 23, 2020

by John Larkin

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.

September 4, 2020

by Alexander Gray

This is the third 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.

September 3, 2020

by Alexander Gray

This is the second 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.

August 4, 2020

by Policy Exchange

In the context of the government’s plans to build 40 new hospitals, Policy Exchange is launching a call for evidence to inform a major piece of research into how we should build the next generation of hospitals. Drawing upon the experiences of the NHS in responding to Covid-19, we will explore whether the Government’s new building programme could potentially mark the most comprehensive reform of hospital building in England since the 1960s.

August 3, 2020

by Remi Adekoya, Eric Kaufmann and Tom Simpson

Britain’s universities are world-leading. Yet there is growing concern that academic freedom in these institutions is being undermined in a way that departs from the liberal traditions and democratic norms of British society. This paper uses one of the largest representative samples of UK- based academics carried out in recent years to explore the concern that strongly-held political attitudes are restricting the freedom of those who disagree to research and teach on contested subjects. The report sets out what might be done, in the form of legislation—specifically an Academic Freedom Bill—and other measures to ensure that a) universities support intellectual dissent, which drives progress and innovation and b) all lawful speech is protected on campus.