16 March 2017


Westminster roundup

The CBI engages with Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and meets with Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to discuss creative industries, data protection and the new UK digital strategy.

Westminster roundup

Prior to the Budget, CBI Chief economist, Rain Newton-Smith, met with Shadow chief secretary to the treasury, Peter Dowd MP, following his appointment to the role earlier this year. In a wide-ranging meeting, discussion touched on the Spring Budget, transport, industrial strategy, access to finance and the CBI’s continued work on regional growth ahead of the metro mayoral elections in May.

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Elsewhere, Director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn and Tom Thackray, Director of innovation met with Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport this week to discuss the importance of creative industries, data protection and the new UK digital strategy.

Karen Bradley emphasised that government had a clear picture of the priorities for the creative industries sector for both Industrial Strategy planning and the Brexit negotiations as a result of their ongoing engagement with business. With government ramping up its focus on export opportunities for the sector, Carolyn and Tom highlighted the ‘All the World’s a Stage’ report which identifies new markets and how the sector can leverage its soft power.  

The future of UK data protection was also a key topic of discussion. Carolyn and Tom stressed the importance of enabling the free movement of data between the UK & EU and highlighted that businesses’ view an adequacy decision as the best means of achieving free flows. Karen Bradley emphasised the importance of the CBI remaining to be an active voice in Europe, particularly the Commission, in making the case for an adequacy deal.

Finally, Carolyn welcomed the focus on skills in the UK’s recently released Digital Strategy but underlined the need to better define the role of the digital skills partnerships that are to be set up locally. While on the cyber security front, we agreed with Karen Bradley that the National Cyber Security Centre represents a clear opportunity for better co-ordinated private and public sector collaboration.

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