6 December 2018


Westminster roundup

Ahead of next week’s vote on the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration, Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, briefed MPs in the House of Commons on businesses’ views of the draft Brexit agreement between the UK and the EU.

Westminster roundup

Read the CBI’s full reaction to the draft agreement

During the discussion, Carolyn highlighted the pressures that businesses are experiencing and why progress in negotiations is an urgent priority. She also pointed out that the number one priority is getting the Withdrawal Agreement over the line to unlock a transition period which guarantees the no deal cliff edge is avoided in March 2019. Finally, Carolyn touch upon the point that the deal is not perfect, but it opens a route to a good long-term trade deal.

Elsewhere, Carolyn and CBI President, John Allan, met with the Trade Secretary, Liam Fox. This meeting was an introductory meeting, following John’s election as CBI President and was used to discuss the government’s Brexit policy - especially on continuity of EU trade agreements post-Brexit.

Away from government engagement, the CBI met Permanent Secretaries from the Treasury, the Business Department and the Department for International Trade to discuss business-government collaboration, identifying three key areas for further discussion: employee engagement, improving business investment and maximising the benefits of devolution.

Finally, this week and in the lead up to Christmas, CBI held its annual Christmas reception in Westminster bringing together MPs and Members. During this formal reception Carolyn and John both gave short speeches reflecting on 2018 and thanked members for their ongoing support – from attending events to supplying anecdotes and taking part in surveys – all of which help the CBI shape policy and influence government.

For more information please contact Hannah Collins