22 November 2018


Westminster Update

During a turbulent time in Westminster, the CBI continues to engage with senior policymakers.

Westminster Update

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director General, and CBI Head of Economics, Rain Newton-Smith, met with the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP. There was significant common ground on policy areas including making business rates work better for small firms, increasing spending for education, and reforming the Apprenticeship Levy. On the nationalisation of utilities, Rain and Carolyn put forward the CBI’s arguments against Labour’s plans and had a constructive discussion with both Shadow Secretaries. The CBI will continue to work to find common ground with Labour, disagreeing with the party where necessary and making the business voice heard.

CBI Head of Education & Skills, John Cope, spoke to both the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds MP, and Education Minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP, at a business summit on early years education. John raised the recent publication of the CBI’s annual Education & Skills survey and outlined the issues faced by employers around the lack of skilled graduates, a problem stemming from schools.

Beckie Hart, Regional Director for Yorkshire and Humber, hosted a reception in parliament for both MPs and businesses from the region. The event provided the opportunity for business to directly engage with their local MPs on a range of topics including devolution, skills, and immigration.

Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey, attended the CBI Construction Council and discussed Labour’s housing policy with members in attendance. Members were able to put questions about Labour’s policies directly to the Minister responsible, giving greater clarity on the party’s plans for Government. This meeting was also used as an opportunity to build further bridges between the CBI and the Labour front bench.

Carolyn also met with the BusinessEurope Council of Presidents to discuss Brexit. This meeting was used by the CBI to ask other business organisations to continue making the case for frictionless trade, and to reinforce the message that no deal would be a bad outcome for the UK and the European Union.

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