The Weekli

The Weekli



Legatum Institute’s Centre for Cultural Transformation

Prosperity Index: What
China and the US Could
Learn from Each Other

Event: David Goodhart discusses
The Road to Somewhere


The Legatum Institute is an international think tank based in London and a registered UK charity. Our work focuses on understanding, measuring, and explaining the journey from poverty to prosperity for individuals, communities, and nations. In this edition of the WeekLI, you will see articles focused on the challenges in the UK, the US, and China.

Policy solutions have to match the scale of the problem identified. We believe that truly transformational policy-making comes from a solid foundation of measurable data that covers both social and economic research areas. This combination allows us to tackle the major challenges, and harness the major opportunities, of our generation. I hope you enjoy this edition of our Newsletter.


Philippa Stroud speaking with Martin Bashir (l) and Edward Stourton (r)

Our Cultural Transformation Programme is committed to identifying the dynamics that weaken nations, and those that strengthen them.


One of the ways we do this is through our “Chatham House” events where sector experts share the challenges their industry is facing and what they believe needs to be done to build and restore a healthy culture to our top institutions and industries.


Historically strong nations and strong industries have been built on values such as courage, integrity, freedom, loyalty and social responsibility. The Legatum Institute’s programme of discussions examine how values such as these can strengthen institutional frameworks.


Many of these values have been deeply challenged in recent years, particularly in industries such as politics, business and the media.


All around us, today, society is undergoing a paradigm shift in respect to its values system. This provides the perfect opportunity to engage thought leaders in all sectors of society in restoring our faith in our historic values. Through our discussions we can generate creative and credible solutions to promote the advancement of good citizenship and civic responsibility.


The Legatum Institute was pleased to welcome best-selling author and political commentator David Goodhart, on his new book, The Road to Somewhere.


Brexit has presented Britain with an opportunity to heal the rift between the citizens of “Somewhere” who feel rooted in a particular job, culture, and place; and the citizens of “Anywhere”, liberal cosmopolitans who feel the world is a village – their village. The latter only represent 15% or so of the UK population, yet they have controlled overwhelmingly the cultural and socioeconomic sphere.


For Britain to prosper, the “Admonished Anywheres” (and Goodhart thinks this label applies to himself as well) who have understood that they have made a mistake in ignoring the wishes and fears of the great majority, must use emotional intelligence to craft a new social contract.


Goodhart said he saw Brexit allowing for a new settlement which responded to the legitimate anxieties of the “Somewheres” – about globalisation, the erosion of ancient institutions, and immigration. Because citizens of “Anywhere” boasted the sort of cognitive skills that made them employable everywhere, they had ignored the pressures on jobs that citizens of “Somewhere” – such as those employed in manufacturing – were feeling. These concerns about immigration had been branded ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’ by the liberal elite, Goodhart said, but they were legitimate.


“Citizens of Somewhere” could not rely on the impressive educational achievements that characterised the “Citizens of Anywhere”, but they did rely on character – a far more democratic qualification. The problem is, says Goodhart, society today focuses on skills and achievements far more than on character – probably because the citizens of “Anywhere” control our culture.


The Road to Somewhere has become the most talked about book of post-Brexit Britain. David Goodhart’s analysis of who we are becoming will continue to provoke debate for those who would forge a new social contract.


Cross-Border Movement Of Goods

Post-Brexit, one of the challenges we will face is the movement of goods across borders. Here, Victoria Hewson addresses this issue and suggests that lessons in good practice can be drawn from the US-Canada border:


What we can learn from the US-Canada Border

Customs procedures and import duties haven’t been so exciting since the days of Poldark.  The UK leaving the EU customs union has provoked passionate debate on tariffs and formalities and their impact on trade, and some people are concerned that Brexit will bring chaos to the ports and roads of Britain and Northern Ireland.  In our recent paper, Brexit, Movement of Goods and the Supply Chain we address some of these concerns and propose some solutions and interim measures that the Government and the EU can deploy. We also present a fascinating piece of work by Canadian trade experts Sandy Moroz and Colleen Brock, who explain how the US-Canada border works.

NAFTA is a free trade area but not a customs union, so goods transiting between the US and Canada have to clear customs.  This process is managed so effectively by the Canada Border Services Agency, in cooperation with its US counterpart, that $1.5 billion of goods cross the border every day, and integrated cross-border supply chains can operate reliably, allowing sectors like automotive to trade efficiently.

Read the full article here


What China and the US Could Learn from Each Other

“…both sides in the incoming Sino-US summit would benefit if they look across the table.”

Meetings between the US and Chinese national leaders have never been easy. More often than not they are fraught with conflicting strategic interests, intermittent trade frictions, and occasional miscommunicated agenda. Today’s meeting in Florida, between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping promises to beat all previous such meetings in its difficulties for setting a common ground.

This is not solely because of the simmering tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the numerous flash points scattered across the East and South China Seas. No, the main reason for the hardening positions on both sides lies in the mounting challenges to domestic prosperity that cast a shadow on both countries.

Ironically, both sides in the incoming Sino-US summit would benefit if they look across the table.

Read the full article here


Everything you need to know about Brexit and the Customs Union

The Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission believes Brexit presents a huge opportunity for British people and global trade. Following our recently published report on Brexit, Movement of Goods and the Supply Chain, this event will present the top three considerations that we believe must underpin decision making in the Brexit negotiations.


  • Stephen Booth, Director of Policy and Research, Open Europe
  • Victoria Hewson, Senior Counsel, Special Trade Commission
  • George Kelly, Director,  iTax UK Business Solutions Ltd

Chaired by

  • Shanker Singham, Director of Economic Policy and Prosperity Studies; Chairman of the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission

Join the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission for their latest Brexit briefing.

Date:           Monday 10 April

Time:          18.00-19.00

Followed by a reception

Location:    Legatum Institute

Register your interest here


Last week, the UK Government triggered Article 50 setting the clock running on Britain’s exit from the European Union. Several of the Institute’s scholars and thought-leaders provided comment and analysis on what the triggering of Article 50 means for Britain, the EU, and the rest of the world. A selection of this coverage is provided below…

Shanker Singham comments on last week’s triggering of Article 50 READ HERE

Matthew Elliott was on BBC News giving analysis on the triggering of Article 50 WATCH HERE

Matthew Elliott was on Sky News discussing the opportunities for the UK now that Article 50 has been triggered WATCH HERE

Shanker Singham was interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live on the trade opportunities for the UK post-BrexitLISTEN HERE

Matthew Elliott was interviewed by BBC Radio Humberside for his thoughts on the triggering of Article 50LISTEN HERE

Shanker Singham writes for CapX about where to start with a Brexit trade deal READ HERE


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