View from Holyrood
Update on CBI Scotland engagement with political stakeholders across Holyrood and Westminster.
Over the past month, the CBI Scotland team has been active in engaging with political stakeholders on a variety of issues, ranging from Brexit to digital connectivity.
CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black attended a roundtable with Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, in Glasgow to discuss ongoing Brexit negotiations and the progress of the Great Repeal Bill. The team also attended a separate roundtable with the Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington MP, where topics covered included the importance of improved engagement between government and business on the return of powers from Brussels to UK institutions and the value of immigration to Scotland’s economy.
Elsewhere, Hugh Aitken appeared before the Scottish Affairs Committee at the University of Aberdeen to give evidence to their digital connectivity inquiry. Hugh made the point that digital connectivity is crucial to improving Scotland’s productivity. Poor digital connectivity has a negative impact on both individual businesses and inward investment and while this is particularly the case in rural areas, there are significant challenges in many parts of the country.
At Holyrood, Tracy was joined by Senior Policy Executive Gregor Scotland for a meeting with the Scottish Conservatives’ Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Dean Lockhart MSP. Tracy and Gregor outlined CBI Scotland’s programme of productivity work across 2018, with the including outlining the importance of supporting businesses to access the skills they need to grow.
The CBI’s Head of Economic Intelligence, Anna Leach, was in Edinburgh this month and joined Tracy for a range of meetings, including one with the Head of the Scottish Government’s Economic Policy Unit, Sam Anson. Tracy and Anna raised the recommendations outlined in CBI’s submission to the consultation on plans for a Scottish National Investment Bank. The SNIB was also a key focus of a consultation roundtable the team attended later in the month with Benny Higgins, Chief Executive of Tesco Bank, who was appointed to lead work on its implementation. Benny Higgins is set to outline his recommendations to the Scottish Government later this week.