25 October 2018


Westminster update

CBI’s engagement continues to thrive as the nights get darker  

Westminster update

Last week, prior to the European Council Summit, Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, conducted a number of calls with negotiators on both sides of the debate including William Vereker, the Prime Minister’s Business envoy, Sabine Weyand, Deputy EU Chief negotiator, and Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Brexit. These calls were used to highlight the pressing need to secure the Withdrawal Agreement to unlock the jobs-first transition to avoid a disruptive cliff-edge. Following the Summit, Carolyn participated in a conference call with the Prime Minister and spoke separately with Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, where she shared insights from the CBI’s new Brexit preparedness survey and emphasised the need for negotiators to secure a transition deal as soon as practically possible.

Also last week, the CBI’s leadership programme heard from the International Trade Permanent Secretary, Antonia Romeo, and the Chair of the Committee on Exiting the European Union, Hillary Ben. Following these meetings, the programme visited Downing Street for a meeting with Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Jimmy McLoughlin. For more information on the CBI’s leadership programme visit the website.

Elsewhere, the CBI attended a Home Office roundtable with the Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, to discuss the upcoming White Paper on post-Brexit immigration. During the session, the CBI made clear that the current Tier 2 system cannot be replicated, and radical reforms are required before a new system is introduced. The CBI also emphasised the importance of having a route for low-skilled migration which all sectors can access and is not only a temporary route limited to allowing short periods of work.

Finally, Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director General, met with George Hollingbery, Minister of State for Trade Policy at the Department of International Trade. Josh used the as an opportunity to reiterate the CBI’s willingness to join DIT’s new strategic trade advisory group. He also highlighted the breadth of CBI work on trade and the benefits to CBI membership of the new trade advisory group.

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