Safe Standing: Why it's time to remove the ban

• The UK has an effective ban on standing sections in football stadia in the top-two tiers of English & Welsh football
• A recent inquiry does not find standing responsible for the Hillsborough Disaster; by contrast, poor management and policing are judged the culprit; many other recent stadium disasters have happened despite all-seater stadia
• Advances in seating technology and stadium management make ‘safe standing’ a plausible option for sections of UK football stadia
• Experience from other sports, lower football tiers, and around Europe show standing can be safe
• Fans overwhelmingly support the reintroduction of some standing in football stadia, including female fans, whenever they are asked
• Standing can increase densities, sometimes modestly, and sometimes impressively: this means lower prices for the same revenue, and more price points for clubs to offer
• European clubs with standing in their stadia have a much wider variation between the cheapest and most expensive tickets: even if Premier League clubs kept their most expensive ticket the same price, bringing the ratio of standing available up to the European level would cut the average cheapest season ticket by 57%, from £514 to £221
• The UK government should liberalise the safety regime to allow for limited safe standing sections in Premier League and Championship football clubs

Read the full paper here.

No Stress II: the flaws in the Bank of England’s stress testing programme

“No Stress II: the flaws in the Bank of England’s stress testing programme”, challenges the stress tests carried out by the Bank of England to assess the financial resilience of UK banks, and refutes their claim that major UK banks could withstand another big shock.
 
The report's release comes as Europe faces a renewed banking crisis. There is already a major crisis in Italy and mounting concerns about Deutsche Bank, the biggest bank in Europe and recently described by the International Monetary Fund as the most systemically dangerous bank in the world.

Read the paper online here

The Case for the (Interim) EEA Option

Joining the European Economic Area (EEA) is one option for the UK outside the EU. There are pros and cons to this version of Leave, on which people will have different views. What is undoubtedly true is that, whatever its pros or cons, it is a version of Leave. It is an alternative to the EU. It is not a version of Remaining within the EU. EEA members like Norway are not members of the EU.

Read the whole paper here.

Rebooting Britain: Making the most of Brexit

The referendum decision to leave the EU has proved a real chance for Britain to renew itself, to regain its confidence in itself, and to take decisions that have been put off for too long. There are many features of modern Britain that are simply inadequate to serve its needs today. Some have not been tackled for a lack of political will, and the fear of confronting established interests that act against the national good. Some have been allowed to continue with occasional tinkering at the edges, when a comprehensive overhaul would be more appropriate. Some have not been tackled because our membership of the EU and the obligation to accept its rules has prevented us from doing what is necessary in the national interest.

It is as if the nation has been on automatic drift, plodding on with no clear sense of direction and purpose. A patchwork quilt of policies has evolved from a series of historical events, with no-one taking a clear look at where the nation should be heading if it is to serve the needs of its people in a changing world. The nation has fallen into managerialism as its governing ethos, with the view that the purpose of politics should be to manage things as they are, perhaps more efficiently, perhaps more competently, than the party in opposition might achieve, but without looking at the underlying philosophy that should underpin what we are trying to do.

Institutions and practices are allowed to continue simply because noone seems ready to challenge them and to change them. When they fail to deliver adequate outcomes, temporary patches are applied when the real answer would be to change the system that engendered those failings.

Brexit provides a pretext and an opportunity now to do things differently, for the nation to reboot itself and bring its policies, practices and its performance up to speed, and in ways that transcend the merely adequate and promise instead the achievements that a modern nation such as ours should be able to deliver. Britain has problems, it is true, but they can all be solved by creative energy and skilful resourcefulness. All it needs is the will to do things differently, acting across every area of public policy.

Read the whole paper here.

Evolution not revolution: the case for the EEA option

Evolution not revolution: the case for the EEA option

Britain needs to leave the European Union, which over 43 years of membership has proven to be sclerotic, anti-democratic and immune to reform.  It is a political relic of a post-war order that no longer exists.The best exit route is for the UK to step back to a position in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) and the European Free Trade Association (‘EFTA’), thereby wholly maintaining the open trading arrangements of the single market and related economic integration. 

Read the paper online here.

Download the paper here.

UK PLC: Britain's debt time bomb

UK PLC: Britain's debt time bomb

Nigel Hawkins, in his new ASI paper, reviews the big numbers in the Whole Government Accounts, and finds that Britain's government liabilities go far beyond the national debt. In order to ensure stability in security in public finances into the future, he argues that the government must cut back further, as well as selling off some of the assets mentioned in his previous paper Cash in the Attic.

Read the paper here.