Revoking Fabric's license is a disgrace says Sam Bowman

Following the news that Fabric has had its license revoked and will be forced to close, Sam Bowman made the following comment:

The decision by Islington Council to revoke Fabric’s license is a disgrace, and exactly the wrong way to reduce deaths from drugs. Closing Fabric won’t stop people from taking drugs at other clubs, even if they step up their searches of clubbers. Heavy-handed drugs searches are security theatre: they make non-clubbers feel happy, but realistically people will always be able to take drugs into clubs – there’s only so much security can do.
The objective should be to reduce harm to drug users, and the way to do that is to let them know what they’re using. That means testing drugs that are circulating in clubs and warning drug users if potentially dangerous batches are around – a scheme that has been piloted by some clubs in the past, and was tried successfully at the Secret Garden Party festival this summer. Acknowledging that people will take drugs, but doing what we can to keep them safe while they do so, is how we can avoid drug deaths.

Sam's comments featured in the Guardian and Mirror Online.

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at | 07584 778207.

Sam Bowman reacts to ruling out of points based immigration system

Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, reacting to the news that the Prime Minister has ruled out a points based immigration system, said:

“It’s great news that the Prime Minister has ruled out a points-based immigration system for EU nationals. Although we expect that some controls on freedom of movement are inevitable after Brexit, a heavy-handed approach would be bad for Britain. One option may be to only allow people who already have a job offer to immigrate.
“EU immigrants pay more in taxes than they cost in services and so help pay for the pensions, healthcare and education of native Britons, and curbing them harshly would probably make it impossible for us to remain in the Single Market. They do not harm the wages or job prospects of native workers. ( 
“This move by the Prime Minister is doubly encouraging because it suggests that Mrs May wants to go for a global Brexit. She is right to reject policies that would close us off from Europe – the real prize now will be opening up to the world.”

Sam's comments were included in print and online across the Guardian and the Daily Express.

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at | 07584 778207.

New paper Catch of Today hauls in the coverage

Dr. Madsen Pirie's latest paper, Catch of Today: A ten point plan for British fishing, went down a storm with the media this week receiving blanket coverage across national print, online and broadcast titles.

The Daily Mail reported:

Britain's exclusive fishing rights should be raised from 12 to 200 miles to keep out foreign vessels in the wake of the Brexit vote, said the Adam Smith Institute. It said naval and air patrols should keep out foreign boats, which currently take 80 per cent of the catch in UK waters.

The Daily Express reported:

Britain has given Britain the chance to retake control of its fishing industry, a top economist said yesterday. Foreign boats net 80 per cent of fish caught in our waters. And up to half are thrown back to comply with EU overfishing quotas. 
Dr. Madsen Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute wants to expand our zone from 12 miles to the 200 we had before we joined the EU.

The Sun reported:

Theresa May is being urged to boost our fishing industry by banning all foreign trawlers from UK waters. The PM should use the Navy and RAF to impose new rules, a think-tank says. In a report launched today the ASI declares that the ECFP has "savaged UK waters".  
Tory MP for Dover, Charlie Elphicke, said: "This report has some powerful ideas that will protect British territorial waters". Last night Defra said: "Our fishing industry is immensely valuable and supporting our fisherman will form an important part of our exit from the EU."

City AM reported:

The think tank has also called for the creation of two new bodies, the Maritime Research Institute, which would monitor fish stocks, and a National Fisheries Council, which would determine a total allowable catch and quota for each species. 
The ASI claims the ECFP has "drastically limited" the exclusivity of fishing waters from 200 miles of the coast when it joined in 1973 to 12 miles now, enabling up to 80 per cent of catches in UK waters to be netter by foreign ships.

The Herald reported:

A new report from the Adam Smith Institute states the UK has a unique opportunity to reverse the "savage" damage done by the European Common Fisheries Policy (ECFP).
The institute says the EU's catch quotas have resulted in 1.7million tonnes of fish being thrown back into the sea each year. The ASI urged Britain to follow the example of Iceland and Norway and stay out of the ECFP after Brexit. 

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) reported:

A leading think tank has delivered a ten-point action plan it says is a blueprint for reshaping the UK's fishing industry in the wake of Brexit. The ASI said the EU referendum outcome in June was a unique chance to make UK fishing "viable and profitable"

Mail Online reported:

The ASI has urged Britain to follow the example of Norway and Iceland and stay out of the ECFP after Brexit negotiations. With 80% of UK fishing stocks being caught by foreign boats, the ASI has called for the extension of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone from the current 12 miles off shore, to 200 miles out.

Dr. Pirie appeared on BBC Good Morning Scotland :

Ben Southwood discussed the paper on LBC:

And Madsen also appeared on Share Radio to discuss the report, available here


New paper from the Adam Smith Institute urges the government to take back control of UK waters

  • UK has a unique opportunity to rewrite its fishing policy following Brexit
  • European Common Fisheries Policy has savaged UK waters
  • 80% of fish caught in UK waters netted by foreign boats
  • 1.7 tonnes of fish dumped in the sea last year, some years as much as 50% of all fish caught thrown back dead or dying to the water
  • UK must follow Norway and Iceland and join environmental and commercial interest

A new paper released this morning by the Adam Smith Institute calls on the government to take back control of UK waters and bring an end to the billions of fish thrown back dead into the sea each year.

The report lays out a comprehensive ten point plan for how Britain can replenish its waters following Brexit and reveals the full extent of the damage caused by the European Common Fisheries Policy (ECFP).

The ECFP drastically limited the exclusivity of fishing waters in the UK from 200 miles off the coast to just 12 miles when it joined in 1973. This has allowed all EU member states to fish in UK waters, with British Sea Fishing estimating that 80% of catches are netted by foreign ships, often killing dolphins and porpoises in the process.

The EU’s Total Allowable Catch quota has led to the dumping of dead and dying edible fish back into the sea to the tune of 1.7 million tonnes a year. Some estimates even suggest that up to 50% of all fish caught is thrown dead back into the water. The catastrophic policy has decimated fish stocks in Europe and has lead to the systematic plundering of developing countries waters with heavily subsidised and oversized boats.

The UK has the chance to change this following its exit from the European Union, and marry commercial interest with environmental ones. The report urges that the UK must implement a fishing policy that is both sustainable and profitable by learning from the successful policies of Iceland and Norway, who are not part of the European Common Fisheries Policy.

The report recommends the following policies for the UK fishing industry upon withdrawal from the EU and its Common Fisheries Policy:

  1. Extension of Exclusive Economic Zone from 12 miles to the 200 miles from UK shores as specified by the United Nations International Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  2. Ban fishing in UK waters without specific consent and require all boats to be registered.
  3. Naval and air patrols over UK fishing waters to identify and intercept illegal fishing.
  4. Creation of a Maritime Research Institute tasked with monitoring fish stocks, examining the levels of the different species, mapping breeding grounds, and recording all catches made within UK waters.
  5. Creation of a National Fisheries Council to determine a total allowable catch for each species and assign a quota to each registered fishing vessel that is divisible and tradable. All catches must be landed, and if any exceed the quota, the vessel must trade or buy quotas from others.
  6. All boats fitted with satellite tracking devices, and their position constantly indexed.
  7. All catches size and species recorded on landing with information uploaded to a public database.
  8. UK fishing waters divided into administrative zones with the National Fisheries Council able to impose an immediate suspension of fishing in any areas where the sustainability of any fish stocks appears to be at risk.
  9. Inspections from the National Fisheries Council on any boat two times per year.
  10. The National Fisheries Council and the Maritime Research Council to publish all their information online, accessible to members of the public as well as to the industry.

Author of the paper and president of the Adam Smith Institute, Dr. Madsen Pirie, said:

“This ten-point action plan gives Britain a blueprint to reshape its entire fishing industry in the wake of Brexit. We have a chance to make UK fishing a viable and profitable enterprise, while pursuing a policy that restores and sustains fishing stocking within its waters.

“Vested interests, lobbying and political protection of national interests have taken more from the sea than it can put back. It is time for alternative policies to be explored and pursued.”


Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at | 07584 778207.

The report “Catch of Today” will be live on the Adam Smith Institute website from 09:00 24th August 2016 and can be accessed ahead of time here

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

The Daily Telegraph cites ASI over airport liquid restrictions

The Daily Telegraph has cited a blog from the Adam Smith Institutes' Head of Projects, Sam Dumitriu, on airport liquid restrictions:

According to the Adam Smith Institute, one of the world’s leading think tanks, current restrictions would not prevent determined terrorists from getting liquid explosives through airport security.
“Indeed, the very basis of the restrictions seem weak,” it said, in a recent blog post. 
“Even if a would-be terrorist wasn't able to bring enough of an explosive on board as part of their liquid allowance, they could still buddy up with a couple others troublemakers and simply mix the explosive liquids together in a bigger bottle bought in duty free.”

Sam Dumitriu's blog post can be read in full here

Eamonn Butler tells it like it is to the Mail on Sunday

Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Eamonn Butler, didn't pull any punches over NHS pensions speaking with the Mail on Sunday this week. Discussing the million pound pension pots accumulated by some health bosses Dr. Butler said:

"It is sickening that anyone in the public sector can clock up multimillion-pound pensions and fringe benefits when ordinary people have no hope of saving anything like that amount – particularly with interest rates virtually zero.

"People struggling to look after their families and manage their finances will be justly outraged they are having to pay higher taxes to keep others in retirement luxury.’ Danny Cox, of pensions firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said an NHS pension with a nominal value of £1million would provide the holder with an annual income of £55,000 to £60,000 for life, plus a tax-free lump sum of around £165,000."

The article also appeared on Mail Online and can be viewed here

The Football Supporters’ Federation backs latest ASI report on safe standing

The latest ASI report, Safe Standing: Why it's time to remove the ban, has received further backing from The Football Supporters’ Federation. Peter Daykin of the Football Supporters’ Federation said:

It’s pleasing to see yet more solid research supporting the case for safe standing. It shows once more that lifting the ban on standing areas in England and Wales would be immensely popular.
We fully support the Adam Smith Institute’s call for the Sports Minister to lift the ban on standing areas in the Premier League and Championship – allowing clubs to give football fans what they want and convert existing all-seated areas in safe standing zones, if they wish.
The debate continues to move on, as Celtic have shown what’s possible. The legislation is falling behind the rest of the country and we’d urge the Government to consider the Adam Smith Institute’s report carefully.

Safe Standing report sweeps up in the media and gains support from Andrew Davies MP

The ASI's latest report by Head of Research Ben Southwood has gone down a storm with the media this week. From broadsheet columns to full pages in the red tops, 'Safe Standing: Why it's time to remove the ban' has been widely reported and even gained support from head of the Welsh conservatives, Andrew Davies MP.

The Daily Star reported:

Ticket prices for Premier League clubs could be halved if fans are allowed to stand on the terraces again. It is one of the idea put forward by a Government think tank which wants the game made cheaper for grassroots supporters.
The Adam Smith Institute says a ban on terrace standing brought in after the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 now "doesn't fit". It believes prices could be cut by as much as 57% with safe standing.

The Sun reported:

The cost of watching top flight football could more than halve if terraces come back in, a report says today. It called for ministers to end the all-seater ban and bring in "safe standing".
A think tank analysed prices against European clubs which permit standing and predicted fans at all 20 premier league clubs would enjoy "serious" savings if allowed to do the same.  

The Times reported:

The introduction of safe standing at Premier League football clubs would improve the atmosphere at matches and cut some season ticket prices by more than half, a think tank has said.
The report by the Adam Smith Institute calls on the government to repeal the ban on standing after the Hillsborough inquest concluded that police errors, not fans on terraces, were responsible for the deaths of 96 supporters.

City AM reported:

Sports minister Tracey Crouch is under pressure on the eve of the new Premier League season to allow England's top clubs to reintroduce standing at matches. A report published today by think tank the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) says the use of "safe standing" sections is backed by most top-flight teams and the majority of fans.

Ben wrote for City AM:

It might have made sense to restrict standing in 1989, when its safety was unproven, but it doesn't now. Sweden, Austria, Germany and other sports show that it can be safe. Inquests show us it was not to blame for past tragedies.
It could cut ticket prices and improve atmosphere at games. And politically it's an easy step. Crouch: it's an open goal.   

The i reported: 

The ban on standing terraces in the Premier League should be overturned to help bring down ticket prices, ministers have been urged. The Adam Smith Institute has called for the reintroduction of some standing in football stadiums, citing support from fans and the potential to offer cheaper tickets.

Andrew Davies MP wrote for Conservative Home:

This week the Adam Smith Institute published a report calling for the UK government to allow safe standing in football grounds. It follows the recent inquest’s conclusion that it was police errors, not standing fans, that were responsible for the tragedy at Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.
No official report has ever concluded that standing is inherently unsafe. If it were, then fans of rugby, horse racing or boxing would be subjected to the same ban imposed on football supporters. No, the standing ban is a legacy of a different era and whilst football supporters have moved on – most of our politicians refuse to.

Ben Southwood also appeared on Share Radio and Talk Sport to discuss the paper.


New paper from the Adam Smith Institute argues the case for reinstating standing sections in football stadia following Hillsborough inquiry completion

  • The UK ban on standing in top tier football clubs should be repealed
  • Dozens of polls show up to 92% of fans support introduction of safe standing
  • 19 out of 20 Premier League clubs support safe standing
  • Safe standing implemented successfully across Europe, and at Celtic FC in Scotland
  • Cheapest ticket prices could fall by up to 57%, shaving £500 off an Arsenal season ticket

A new paper published today by the Adam Smith Institute calls on the government to allow safe standing in football stadiums, following the recent inquest’s conclusion that it was police errors, not standing fans, that were responsible for the Hillsborough tragedy.
The report reveals that safe standing is overwhelmingly supported by fans, hitting 92% in favour in Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) polls, with the large majority citing cheaper ticket prices and improved atmosphere.

And it’s not just the fans who want to stand, 19 out of 20 Premier League clubs favour offering safe standing but are restricted by the Dept for Culture Media and Sport, who exercised a power under 1989 Football Spectators Act to require football clubs to offer only seated areas.
The Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Tracey Crouch, has the power to change this regulation and allow safe standing, seen successfully implemented in many European clubs, British sports such as rugby and horse racing, and in lower tiers of British football. The report notes that, of all recorded stadium disasters from the last 20 years, none have been related to safe standing, and several have even occurred in seated stadia.

Safe standing could, the report argues, increase capacity and widen the ticket prices on offer, leaving fewer fans missing out of the big games and improving access for lower income fans. 

European clubs with standing sections have much more varied ticket prices and, the paper estimates, following suit in the UK could cut the the cost of the cheapest tickets by up to 57%. With more than a £500 saving on an Arsenal season ticket, £438 off a Chelsea season ticket and £250 off at Crystal Palace, that’s serious savings for devoted fans. 

Table 1:

Data Source: BBC Price of Football 2015 survey,

Removable alternatives to standard seats such as rail and clip on seats have been used successfully in countries such as Austria, Sweden and Germany and provide flexibility. Following a relaxation by the Scottish Premier League, Celtic has introduced rail seating for 3,000 spectators in 2016-17 season - the first formal standing in top division British football for decades.

In light of the Hillsborough inquest findings, Tracey Crouch and the government should consider lifting the standing ban and allowing the introduction of limited safe standing areas, delighting fans and clubs alike.

The report’s author Ben Southwood, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, said: 

“The standing ban is an anachronism: clubs across Europe have rail seating sections with no incident, creating superior atmosphere and allowing for a cheaper tier of tickets. Just look at Dortmund’s üdtribüne!

“Unlike the adversarial attitude police, club organisation and fans had during the dark days of the 80s, we now know how to manage large crowds well. The ban doesn’t fit. Tracey Crouch doesn’t need to pass a law, she has the power to simply undo the prohibition on safe standing—and she should."

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at | 07584 778207.

The report “Safe Standing: Why it’s time to remove the ban” will be live on the Adam Smith Institute website from 09:00 11th August 2016 and can be accessed ahead of time here.

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.