29th October 2020, 15:00 – 16:00 LONDON
Can the transatlantic gap on Iran be bridged?
The recent expiration of the UN Arms Embargo on Iran and the upcoming US elections make this a pivotal moment for Iran policy.
The Islamic Republic has confirmed its intent to trade weapons, both to supply its own forces and the militias it backs throughout the region. Washington has also made clear its commitment to extend the embargo. Yet, despite shared concerns at the prospect of the IRGC and Iran-backed proxies gaining access to advanced weaponry, European powers abstained from re-invoking snapback sanctions and are now considering alternative avenues to extend arms limitations on Tehran.
With the question of the UN arms embargo taking place against the backdrop of US elections and expanding IRGC power within Iran itself, bridging the transatlantic gap over arms limitations could not be more important.
- Nazee Moinan | Iran scholar and foreign policy commentator (MODERATOR)
- Bart Groothuis MEP | Member of the European Parliament, Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Iran
- Nader Uskowi | Senior Iran Advisor to US Central Command & Senior Fellow at Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
- Kasra Aarabi | Iran Analyst, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change & Non-Resident Scholar Middle East Institute
9th October 2020, 14:00-15:00
UK Industrial Strategy's three horsemen: Covid, Brexit and trade wars?
Despite its chequered history with industrial policy, the UK needs a rational and forward-looking strategy more than ever to deal with Covid, Brexit, and looming trade wars. Less immediate, but just as pressing loom the technological challenges of digitalising and decarbonising industry. Strategy must therefore deal simultaneously with a series of short-term shocks and long-term transitions. How do we make opportunities out of these challenges?
- Dame Kate Barker, Chair of the Industrial Strategy Commission, former member of the National Infrastructure Commission, previously external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, Chief Economic Advisor to the CBI
- Prof. Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics at Kings College London and Director of the UK in a Changing Europe
- Prof. Richard Jones, Chair in Material Physics and Innovation Policy, University of Manchester
1st October 2020, 12:30-13:30
Will Covid-19 finally trigger reform of local government finance?
The long-term trajectory for local government finance was looking challenging before Covid. Now, in the short term, it is perilous. Council costs have risen substantially whilst incomes have fallen. Despite several bungs from central government, there is no indication of support to cover the scale of in year losses. Will this acute crisis trigger a more fundamental reassessment of the unsustainable local government finance system, and if so what shape should that take?
- Steve Reed, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
- Lord Kerslake, President of the Local Government Association, former head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government
- Prof. Donna Hall, Chair of the New Local Government Network, and former CEO of Wigan Council
18th September 2020, 10:00-11:00
Taxing times: where and when should taxes rise?
Our paper How Far and How Fast shows the severity and length of the pandemic will affect public debt levels. The OBR has calculated that an additional £60bn may be needed in additional revenue to keep the public debt stable in the wake of the crisis. But is the tax system up to the challenge of raising such amounts in a fair and efficient way? How should it be reformed to meet the challenge ahead and how can the political obstacles to reform be overcome?
- Douglas Alexander, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School, former Secretary of State for Scotland, Transport and International Development
- David Gauke, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Stephanie Flanders, Bloomberg
10th September 2020, 14:00-15:00
‘Essential’ work to ‘good’ work - ensuring the post-Covid labour market is secure
Unemployment could hit a record level later this year having started the year at lows not seen since the 1970s. But the pandemic has highlighted some of the unpalatable features of the pre-Covid labour market that may have contributed to such apparent success. Insecure, low-productivity work, allowing companies are able to pass on risks to workers, may make companies more resilient and raise employment rates, but are the social consequences worth it? As we scramble to tackle mounting unemployment, should we aim for a more secure labour market after the crisis? If so, how?
- Martin Sandbu, Financial Times’ European Economic Commentator and Author of The Economics of Belonging
- Tony Wilson, Director of the Institute for Employment Studies
- Stella Creasy MP, Member of Parliament for Walthamstow