Summary In 1980, an article in The Times predicted that over the next five years, the National Health Service (NHS) would be privatised step by step, and the UK would drift towards an American-type healthcare system. This obviously did not happen. But that has not stopped people from repeatedly making the same prediction ever since. ... Continue reading
Summary The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement which formalised the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Its stated intention was protection of peace and stability in Northern Ireland, which was considered to require trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland to continue without border checks or formalities. Northern Ireland continues ... Continue reading
Research
Minimum unit pricing (MUP) sets a floor price on a unit of alcohol to prevent the sale of ‘cheap’ drinks, with the aim of reducing alcoholrelated harm. MUP was introduced in Scotland on 1 May 2018 at 50p per unit. This study estimates the financial cost to consumers in the four years since implementation. Using ... Continue reading
Research
Summary The benefits of innovation are unpredictable and hard to quantify. Fear of adverse consequences can lead to excessive emphasis on risk avoidance, leading to regulation that holds back beneficial innovation. The experience in tobacco harm reduction illustrates this. Innovative reduced-risk nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, snus and heated tobacco, have been associated with steep ... Continue reading
Research
Summary The Fan Led Review of Football Governance calls for major changes in the way English football is run, with the government imposing an independent regulator (IREF). The government has indicated support for an IREF. There is tension between the legal and commercial reality of football clubs as private businesses, and the way many fans ... Continue reading
Summary The Subsidy Control Bill (‘the Bill’) could make it easier for public authorities to provide economically damaging subsidies – by moving away from the European Union’s state aid process and reducing transparency requirements. The Bill outlines principles that public authorities must follow when granting subsidies and disclosure requirements for when subsidies are provided. The ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Transport played a central role during the pandemic, with aviation facilitating the rapid global spread of Covid-19. The sector was targeted by governments that imposed draconian restrictions on mobility in an attempt to reduce transmission, but at the same time supported the aviation and rail industries with large bailouts. The pandemic and associated lockdown ... Continue reading
Summary In framing its ongoing relationship with the EU, and a new external trade policy, the UK is in a unique position to adopt one particular, radical free trade policy: a policy of unilateral recognition of the regulations of other territories for the acceptance of goods for the UK market. But such a policy has ... Continue reading
Research
The draft Online Safety Bill presents a significant threat to freedom of speech, privacy and innovation. ‘Safety’ has been prioritised over freedom. The Bill’s proponents wrongly assume it is possible to remove ‘bad’ content without negatively impacting on the ‘good’ and that platforms, not users, are responsible for ‘harms’. The Bill’s inclusion of ‘legal but ... Continue reading
Research
In November 2021, the IEA was pleased to hold, in partnership with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a conference on the Meaning of Competition featuring leading commentators and academics in the field. The objective was to reflect, in the 75th anniversary year of Hayek’s lecture of the same title, on current trends in assertive ... Continue reading