Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne MP is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Environment. He is a former Europe correspondent at the Times and environment editor at the Observer. He is now MP for South Cambridgeshire and a member of the Treasury Select Committee.

A vision for the future: Can Britain become a biotech superpower?

30 min listen

The UK’s vaccine programme was hailed by the government as a success story for Global Britain. It became an example of how Britain could speed up regulation, reduce bureaucracy and become a worldwide home for tech and innovation in life sciences.  The government recently published a Life Sciences Vision, but how much vision was there?

Why building more houses won’t bring prices down

Does the law of supply and demand apply to housing? In other words, will building more houses and flats bring down prices? There is a growing economic consensus that the surprising, and rather counterintuitive, answer is: not to any significant extent. It is a conclusion that has revolutionary implications for housing policy, and what we

Broken Trust: the crisis at the heart of the National Trust

33 min listen

On this week’s podcast, we start with Charles Moore’s cover story on the failings of the National Trust. Why is the Trust getting involved in culture wars, and can it be fixed? Lara speaks to Charles, a Spectator columnist and former editor of the magazine, and Simon Jenkins, who was chair of the Trust between

The ‘clean meat’ revolution is coming

On 19 December last year, some chicken nuggets were sold in a restaurant called 1880, in Singapore. This doesn’t sound like a significant turning point in history, but it was. That small plate of chicken nuggets might well have been the start of a major industrial, social and cultural revolution — one the UK needs

The EU is stepping up its raid on the City of London

It is not usual for the Governor of the Bank of England to ask permission to make a statement about a completely unrelated issue when giving evidence on inflation to the Treasury Select Committee. So we knew it was serious when Andrew Bailey yesterday told us his concerns about Brussels trying to force banks to

A proportional property tax would be a disaster

Two of the most unpopular taxes in Britain are stamp duty and council tax, property taxes both, seen as economically damaging and unfair. So it is not surprising there is a noisy campaign, gaining widespread coverage, to abolish them both and replace them with a simple ‘proportional property tax’. The more your home is worth,

Britain is leading the world in the fight against Covid. Seriously

How is Britain doing in the battle against coronavirus? Many have repeatedly declared we have the worst track record of any country, with both the highest death rate in Europe and suffering the highest economic hit. Newspaper headlines have constantly loud-hailed our alleged failings, from the shortage of ventilators to putting ourselves at the back

Only France would try to blow up the Brexit talks

That France was the country to throw a grenade threatening to blow up the UK-EU trade talks just as they were about to pass the finish line, does not come as a surprise to seasoned euro-watchers. No other EU member would so brazenly promote its own domestic self-interest at the cost to other EU members

Extinction Rebellion’s plan for eco-oligarchy

It is very rare (although not unprecedented) for law breakers to attempt to be law makers. But Extinction Rebellion is trying to do both, simultaneously. This weekend they are planning to illegally blockade airports and Parliament, reportedly launch cyber-attacks, while pushing a new law to be laid before Parliament when it reopens this week by

A tale of two lockdowns

In all the reporting on the impact of the pandemic on employment, one important factor has gone unnoticed. It is the private sector that is taking the entire hit, with public sector jobs almost untouched. That 25 per cent drop in GDP over the last six months is overwhelmingly contraction of the private sector. Throughout

The challenge we face coming out of lockdown

The public reaction to the Dominic Cummings saga shows how difficult many people have found the lockdown. It has disrupted the lives of everyone in the country and the education of all schoolchildren, caused an unprecedented recession, soaring unemployment, kept families and lovers apart and led to worrying mental health problems. Tens of thousands have

Corbyn is wrong to say coronavirus proves the need for socialism

Jeremy Corbyn’s claim that the Conservative government’s economic response to the coronavirus package shows that his policies were right proves what an astonishingly poor grasp of economics he has. The economic rescue package has involved a massive increase in spending and borrowing, and also a temporary part nationalisation of people’s wages – both things he

Coronavirus panic buyers should calm down

It is a sign of our extraordinary times that the main trade association for shops – the British Retail Consortium – is sending out an urgent message to customers: “buy less”. More specifically, they have urged people not to buy more than they need. The national panic buying and stockpiling has emptied shelves in supermarkets

Heidi Allen’s confusing political odyssey

Update: Heidi Allen has announced that she will no longer stand at the next election. This weekend, Anthony Browne wrote about her confusing political odyssey: As I pound the streets of South Cambridgeshire where I am the Conservative candidate, the most common reaction I get from voters is “How did that happen?”. (That, at least,

Who’s afraid of no deal?

How bad would a no-deal Brexit really be? This is now perhaps the most important question in politics, and the one provoking greatest disagreement. The answer will help decide whether parliament allows Brexit to happen, and whether Tory MPs bring down their own government. If they think calamity would follow, patriotic rebels might risk a