The Atlantic Bridge

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The Atlantic Bridge was a conservative atlanticist organisation in the United Kingdom. It was set up by Conservative politician Liam Fox in 1997 as a registered charity with the declared purpose of promoting the "Special Relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom. It was dissolved by its trustees on 31 September 2011 following criticism by the Charity Commissioners over its partisan political activities. [1]

Stated Objectives

  • To establish, and then develop rapidly, a strong, well-positioned, network of like-minded conservatives in politics, business, journalism and academe on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • To develop new and relevant policy ideas, building on the common thinking which underpins the natural trans-Atlantic alliance between the UK and the USA;
  • To publicise widely such policy initiatives and stimulate discussion of how best to develop them further.
  • To establish a small board of advisers whose role would be to help oversee the expansion of the group. This expansion is a vital step in building the network that is essential to the overall aims of the group. The focus point of the group will be an ongoing series of bi-annual speaker dinners to be held in London and cities across the United States. These dinners will have three aims. Firstly, to allow potential members to get a better understanding about who we are and what the group does. Secondly, to discuss policy issues and disseminate information. Thirdly, to ensure that the network is in regular active contact and to prevent it from becoming stale.[2]

Thatcher Speech

Lady Thatcher called on the Atlantic Bridge to become a bulwark against the left in a speech to the organisation on 14 May 2003:

This Atlantic Bridge must connect the brightest minds, the soundest ideas, and the boldest young leaders of the future. It should serve at once as a memorial to our heritage, as an investment in our prospects, and as a bulwark against the good - and not so good - people on the Left, who always turn out to have such very bad ideas.[3]

Charity Commission case

The Guardian reported in October 2009 that the Charity Commission had launched an investigation into Atlantic Bridge the previous August. The paper cited the following statment:

"A regulatory compliance case was opened on 21 August 2009 to investigate concerns relating to activities of the Atlantic Bridge Education and Research Scheme (registered charity number 1099513) and its connections to the Conservative party. We are engaging with the charity to address these concerns."[4]

Blogger Stephen Newton said the case followed a complaint he had made to the Commission.[5]

Funding

People

  • Gabrielle Bertin - former equity trader at BNPParibas who worked as a researcher for Liam Fox on the Atlantic Bridge project, funded by Pfizer. She also does occasional work for Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein. More recently she became an advisor to David Cameron

Board of Advisors 2007

Executive Board

Liam Fox | Scott D. Syfert - lawyer with Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein | John Falk | Ross Bevevino | Adam Werrity

External Resources


References

  1. Charity created by Liam Fox axed after watchdog issues criticism The Guardian 5 October 2011
  2. For this information see their website at http://www.theatlanticbridge.com
  3. Margaret Thatcher, Speech to the Atlantic Bridge, Margaret Thatcher Foundation, 14 May 2003.
  4. Hélène Mulholland, Charity Commission investigates organisation's links to Tory party, guardian.co.uk, 2 October 2009.
  5. Stephen Newton, The Atlantic Bridge: Think Tank or sham? Top Tories face Charity Commission investigation, Stephen Newton's diary of sorts..., 2 October 2009.