21 September 2018

  |  CBI Scotland


Holyrood update - DG visit to Scotland

Director General Carolyn Fairbairn, Deputy Director General Henrietta Jowitt and Head of Social Media Tony Hind joined the team in Scotland for a packed schedule of activity around the CBI Scotland annual dinner.

Holyrood update - DG visit to Scotland

Carolyn and CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black undertook an extensive programme of political engagement, including meetings with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Leader of the Opposition Ruth Davidson. Carolyn outlined the CBI position on a ‘no deal’ Brexit, alongside key findings from the ‘Open and Controlled’ report on a preferred post-Brexit immigration system, and made suggestions for boosting productivity across Scotland. Carolyn and Tracy further held a CBI member dinner, with Economic Secretary Derek Mackay also in attendance. Member engagement continued the next day with a visit to the Clydeside home of BAE Systems before we convened a trade association lunch at the offices of ScottishPower.

As ever the CBI Scotland annual dinner was a spectacular success, with a number of extremely positive comments from members and guests. The audience of more than 500 Scottish business leaders, politicians and journalists heard from a roster of excellent speakers, including Carolyn, the First Minister and Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt. Carolyn spoke about the dangers of a ‘no deal’ Brexit to Scotland and the need for a single post-Brexit immigration system that worked for all parts of the UK. The First Minister gave an overview of her recently announced Programme for Government, including further details on a commitment to work with CBI Scotland to boost exporting by uncovering the next wave of Scottish exporters. Ruth Hunt then spoke about the role of business in promoting positive social change and concluded the evening with an on-stage Q&A with Carolyn and the First Minister on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Securing extensive coverage across all of major Scottish news publications, the visit was a significant success, with Brexit and Scotland specific messaging landing well across the board. Social media engagement was also extremely positive, with more than 300,000 impressions across the CBI Tweets, CBI Scotland and Carolyn Fairbairn accounts.