Publications

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Recent Publications

Against Executive Amendment of the Human Rights Act 1998

Against Executive Amendment of the Human Rights Act 1998

On 20 March 2020, three days before the UK went into lockdown, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) recommended that the Houses of Parliament approve the draft Human Rights Act 1998 (Remedial) Order 2019, which had been laid before Parliament on 15 October 2019. The JCHR concluded that there were no reasons why the draft order should not be agreed to by both Houses of Parliament and recommended that the draft order be approved. This conclusion was unsound. The Committee’s recommendation – and the Government’s draft order – should be rejected.

The Training We Need Now

The Training We Need Now

Vocational education and training, especially for those not heading to university, has been one of the biggest public policy failures of the last 25 years. The Covid-19 economic crisis, and how we emerge from it, is an opportunity to do something about it.

The essays in this collection focus on several different aspects of the problem: the lack of decent apprenticeships for school-leavers, the loss of higher manual and technical skills and the decline

A pro-growth economic strategy

A pro-growth economic strategy

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The UK is enduring a health and economic crisis. Despite near-term uncertainties, we believe that a new macro-economic framework can help the UK achieve stronger future growth.

A new macro-economic policy framework is needed, as outlined here, based on the three arrows: of credible fiscal activism; monetary and financial stability based on a new remit for the Bank of England; and a supply-side agenda.

Low borrowing costs create a likely lengthy window of opportunity to emerge from this crisis without being panicked into policy measures such as austerity, but it is possible that inflation and yields could rise, so it is not a risk-free option. Success depends upon a clear and credible policy approach.

Operation COVID-19

Operation COVID-19

Military commanders and decision makers understand that plans have to be made to work, within a time frame and to an agreed outcome. Everyone within the structure of planning and delivery understands that their responsibility, authority and accountability are evidently embodied in their respective role. This culture of trust and credibility is not always evident in some Whitehall bastions. This may not matter much in normal times, but can create frictions and diversions in a time of crisis, says Chris Brannigan, former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Defence matters.

Mishandling the Law

Mishandling the Law

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The Supreme Court has allowed Gerry Adams’s appeal against his 1975 convictions for escaping from lawful custody. When a court quashes a conviction 45 years later, one might imagine that new evidence must have come to light. Not this time: the case turned on a question of law. The Supreme Court ruled that Mr Adams had not been lawfully detained at all, hence his “escape” was not from lawful custody. As Prof Richard Ekins and Sir Stephen Laws set out, this ruling opens the door for Mr Adams, and for others, to bring proceedings against the government for compensation for false imprisonment. It also poses a very serious challenge to the ordinary functioning of government.

A training opportunity in the crisis

A training opportunity in the crisis

The coronavirus crisis underlines the need for an education and training system that is better aligned with the economic and social needs of the UK, says David Goodhart in this research paper. We can no longer afford the luxury of a wasteful mismatch produced by low value degrees and a disorganised approach to vocational training. The current crisis also offers an opportunity to cut through many of the normal blockages and vested interests, not least since we may – in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – be moving into a period of high unemployment, which will require a radical rethinking of current policy. This paper sets out three reforms that would help to improve the UK’s training and education.

Legislating for the relaxation of the lockdown

Legislating for the relaxation of the lockdown

This paper examines what lessons can be learned from the first stage of the coronavirus crisis and applied to legislating for the next stage. The focus will be on the aspects of the legislative response that have had the greatest impact on the largest number of people – the so-called “lockdown” rules.

Outbreaks and Spillovers

Outbreaks and Spillovers

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Zoonotic pathogens (those that originate in animals) are a growing risk to human populations. There were three times as many outbreaks in the 1990s as in the 1940s, and cases continue to rise. The majority of new infectious diseases originate in animals, including well-known diseases such as SARS, avian flu, Ebola and HIV. Whilst too early to say for sure, it is likely that SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) originated in bats. Here Policy Exchange examines what is to be done to reduce the threat to human health and the global economy.

Covid-19 across Ireland

Covid-19 across Ireland

Dr Gudgin’s Policy Exchange research note shows that with the available data it is not yet possible to reach a definitive conclusion on which jurisdiction – Northern Ireland or the Republic – has the higher death rate during the coronavirus crisis, but that the most reasonable judgement is that death rates in Northern Ireland and the Republic are approximately the same.

Ending the divide

Ending the divide

The coronavirus crisis proves the artificiality of the funding divide between the NHS and social care, says a new Policy Exchange research note. The paper is authored by Richard Sloggett, Policy Exchange’s Health and Social Care Lead – until recently Special Adviser to Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary.

The paper – Ending the divide – argues that the Government’s recent promises on social care – cross-party talks and a manifesto pledge that “nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it – must now be strengthened.

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