1 March 2018


Westminster roundup

CBI engages with political stakeholders in the UK, United States and Brussels during a busy two weeks of meetings.

Westminster roundup

CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, met with Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, to discuss the Spring Statement and the latest developments on Brexit ahead of the March European Council summit.

Recognising the lower-profile nature of the fiscal event, Carolyn and the Chancellor discussed the CBI’s view on the UK economic outlook, next steps on the National Retraining Partnership programme announced by the Chancellor last year and the experiences of CBI members’ interactions with the Apprenticeship Levy.

Carolyn also addressed over 45 parliamentarians at an event in Westminster to brief MPs and Peers on the CBI’s customs union position, alongside the Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Yvette Cooper MP, and Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan MP. Over the course of the discussion, Carolyn highlighted the importance of making the right decisions on the tough choices facing politicians ahead of the second round of Brexit talks, by putting evidence before ideology.

Also in Westminster, Carolyn met with the Chair of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady MP, to discuss the CBI’s work across a range of issues – including Brexit, domestic policy issues and CBI engagement with Conservative backbench MPs.  

Elsewhere, CBI President, Paul Drechsler, attended the Global Business Coalition Plenary meeting in the United States. Over the course of the trip, Paul held a number of high-level meetings with the UK and EU Ambassadors, Kim Darroch and David O’Sullivan and US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. Looking back on a successful trip, Paul commented on how US business has its mojo back and how optimistic the US economy is looking.

In Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley MP, joined 18 CBI members for an informal roundtable discussion where she provided a brief update on the political situation and expressed her ambition to restore a power-sharing government.

Finally, Neil Carberry, CBI Managing Director for People & Infrastructure, met with Andrew Griffiths MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility. Over the course of the meeting, discussion touched on a range of policy issues including the Taylor Review, industrial strategy, corporate governance, immigration and Brexit. Reflecting on his broad-ranging ministerial portfolio, Mr Griffiths outlined his two priorities for his new role: to ensure that the industrial strategy resonates with SMEs and to champion the importance of additional government support for fast growing firms.

For more information please contact Hannah.collins@cbi.org.uk