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Principal Policy Adviser, EU Negotiations

Role Summary:

Based at our Cannon Place office, the EU Negotiations Team is responsible for leading the CBI’s activity on the UK’s departure from the EU, influencing the direction of the negotiations on behalf of the CBI’s members, being the public voice of business in the negotiations, and providing intelligence and guidance to members on the progress of negotiations and how to prepare for exit.

Reporting into the Head of Group, the Senior/Principal Policy Adviser will play a key role, consulting with CBI members to develop policy positions that represent the business view on Brexit on issues as they emerge, co-ordinating input into Government from members across the UK’s regions and nations on issues across Brexit-related policy activities led by other CBI teams, supporting senior management in their decision making on this high-profile issue.

It’s a unique position with a strategic and commercial important view over the breadth of the CBI’s policy work. The individual would join the team at an exciting time, and will help shape both the role and the organisation’s plans over the course of negotiations in a fast-moving environment.

Key Responsibilities 

Policy Development

  • Undertaking consultations – through in-depth policy discussions, broader roundtable events and written surveys – with Trade Associations and member businesses of all sizes, sectors and from across the regions and nations to build a comprehensive understanding of the issues and opportunities Brexit presents for industry.
  • Working to create solutions to the challenges raised by members which enjoy cross-sector support and are politically deliverable.
  • Drafting of CBI responses to political and policy developments, including position papers, speeches, consultations and legislation – from the UK Government, EU negotiators and third parties as relevant.

Government influencing

  • Building relationships with stakeholders in Government and political parties in order to effectively communicate business views and
  • Persuading key influencers within Government and opposition parties of the benefits of CBI policy solutions on Brexit
  • Supporting the CBI senior team in their engagement with Government, ensuring they have high quality briefing and the information they need to persuade senior politicians and policymakers to deliver the solutions that CBI members need

Member support

  • Managing the process of member input into the Ministerial Government Business Advisory Groups and Councils related to Brexit.
  • Participating in member meetings, roundtable series, webinars and presentations – both organised by the CBI and by its members on behalf of their internal or external stakeholders – to provide members with the clearest possible understanding of the Government’s approach to Brexit, latest political and policy developments, and the work of the CBI to represent business.
  • Responding to the views of members raised as new issues emerge, including in correspondence at a senior level to the Director General.

Internal co-ordination

  • Proactively communicating with colleagues within the EU Team to ensure all team members have a full understanding of all work taking place on Brexit.
  • Special responsibility for ensuring the views of businesses in the devolved nations are represented in all the CBI’s work on Brexit, and that the policy teams in the CBI’s devolved nation offices are able to communicate a coherent CBI message on Brexit to devolved nation governments
  • Collaborating with other policy teams in the CBI handling issues related to Brexit – including cross-cutting issues such as international trade and immigration, and specific ones such as the future of public procurement post-Brexit – are communicating a cohesive position on Brexit, and that the whole CBI position on Brexit adapts to take account of new work by other teams.
  • Leading collaborate project work with colleagues from other policy teams as appropriate to draw on a wide range of expertise to ensure high quality policy development on the cross-cutting issues Brexit presents

Knowledge & Experience

What an individual must know or understand to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • Knowledge of the policymaking process in the UK government is essential
  • Evidence of working with political or governmental policymakers is essential
  • Some contextual knowledge of the Brexit process and the political nuances surrounding it is essential
  • Experience of managing projects and processes involving multiple stakeholders is essential
  • Knowledge of the policymaking process in Brussels is desirable
  • Experience of public communications / press relations is desirable
  • Some familiarity with the workings of business and commercial pressures is desirable


The practical skills which need to be demonstrated in order to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • Flexible and adaptable – including the ability to adapt workplans based on a rapidly changing external environment, and to change priorities as required by circumstance
  • Ability to grasp and analyse complex topics quickly – including crafting reasonable and practical solutions to members’ concerns and handling topics in the context of the wider Brexit project
  • Ability to communicate complex topics clearly – including communicating to a wide range of internal and external stakeholders and audiences, in a range of settings – from civil service experts to managing directors of small companies, in presentations, meetings, and a variety of written communications
  • Ability to work closely and collaboratively within teams – including on joint projects and to achieve shared goals, both with immediate team members and other policy, commercial and communications teams at the CBI
  • Excellent personal efficiency, productivity and time management – including strong organisational skills and the ability to work in a fast-paced, pressured and changing environment, with occasionally short deadlines and multiple responsibilities
  • Influencing skills – including the ability to persuade policymakers of the benefits of particular policy solutions supported by CBI members, and the ability to advise internal stakeholders where appropriate
  • Good stakeholder management and interpersonal skills – including the ability to manage relationships with external stakeholders to maintain member satisfaction and good Government relations


The behaviours and characteristics required in order to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • Collaborative – Friendly and open attitude, willing to listen, seek views and share information; constructively challenging when appropriate
  • Taking ownership – Ensuring delivery and holding others to account; can influence, irrespective of hierarchy; willing to go the extra mile when necessary
  • Agile – Proactive and responsive to provide a strong member service; responding positively to shifting priorities; Calm under pressure, patient resilient and flexible in the face of unforeseen events
  • Commercial – Awareness of the wider business environment, and the importance of member engagement
  • Innovative – Exploring, sharing and integrating best practice; generating new ideas and challenging a mind-set of “what we’ve always done”
  • Analytical – gathering information and using logic to analyse, problem solve, evaluate risk and make decisions

How to Apply

For all applications please email your CV and cover letter to with the subject 'PPA - EU Negotiations'. The deadline for applications is Friday 8th September.

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