The Wilberforce Society | Policy Papers
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Policy Papers

A new paper by George Bangham and Sarang Shah, examining the UK’s National Security Council since its formation by David Cameron in 2010.

Locating the NSC’s formation in wider debates on the UK’s constitution, the executive authority of the Prime Minister within Cabinet government, and the role of military intelligence in policymaking, it proposes two major changes to the NSC’s role and its associated regulatory framework.

Firstly, it is proposed that the NSC be placed on a statutory footing as an amendment to current legislation in the Intelligence Services Act (1994). Defining the NSC’s existence and requiring its decision on certain executive powers such as the declaration of war would, in this paper’s estimation, act as a valuable constitutional check on Prime Ministerial power.

Secondly, a strengthened framework is proposed for the regulation of the NSC by Parliament, though the Intelligence & Security Committee. The case is made that, if national security in the 21st century may be defined as a public confidence that normal life may be conducted without personal or national danger, the public interest is served by more open scrutiny of high-level security policy, thereby increasing public confidence and accountability.

The authors are grateful for the help of Lord Wilson of Dinton, Professor Christopher Andrew, The Rt Hon. Jack Straw MP, and the members of the Wilberforce Society in their seminar.

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This paper discusses several key issues, including how the Eurozone member states’ relinquishment of their monetary levers has caused economic booms and busts, why equilibrium hasn’t been settled by free movement of persons, how certain European institutions need strengthening to support stability, recommendations for the creation of further federal institutions, proposals to strengthen the criteria for Eurozone entry & Greece’s future in the Eurozone.

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This paper sets out to evaluate the state of the greyhound racing industry in the United Kingdom, looking at regulatory structures and mechanisms, and incentives for racing and animal welfare. The paper argues for the closure of unregulated tracks, and for the industry to look into accessing funds from unclaimed winnings and dormant betting accounts to increasing support for animal welfare and effective self regulation.

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Tackling Homelessness proposes a set of 13 policies to reduce the number of people becoming homeless and to make it easier for the homeless to be re-housed. Proposals cover increased provision of services to the homeless, including an expansion of the government’s duty to provide emergency housing, the provision of specialist mobile health care clinics, and the provision of a PO Box and voicemail service to the homeless. Significant reforms to the way housing benefit is administered are also called for, to make it easier for the homeless to re-enter housing and to prevent new homelessness occuring. Finally, a set of policies are presented to increase available housing by maximising use of existing homes and by increasing the housing stock.

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TWS was invited to submit its views to the government’s independent Commission on a Bill of Rights’ public consultation. In response, a seven person committee was formed under John Kwan, TWS’s Head of Legal Policy, and worked to produce a substantial 50 page report. The paper proposes that a new Bill of Rights should recognize and legislate for new rights — to Internet access, to education and healthcare, and for victims of crime.

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A proposal to improve efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of medical treatment in five ways: firstly, to publicly run all Phase III clinical trials, secondly to only approve drugs for treating a particular condition rather than for general sale, thirdly that NICE must consider a treatment cost-effective for each condition for it to be approved to treat that condition, fourthly to cap NHS drug prices at £20k/patient/QUALY, and finally to allow the NHS to produce combined medications. Updated in August 2011 in response to the impending move to value based pricing.

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This paper argues that the UK should state its intention to adopt the Right to Protect as its sole grounds for international intervention, in accordance with the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty’s report, The Responsibility to Protect by G. Evans & M. Sahnoun. This was discussed at a meeting with the counsel of George Grant, Director for Global Security & Terrorism at the Henry Jackson Society.

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