21 June 2018
Trade and the upcoming Heathrow vote are the focus of political stakeholder meetings
This week, the CBI launched a new policy making board on trade and investment. The board will work with the government as the UK seeks to strengthen trading relationships across the globe.The board met for its first time this week with the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, and the Minister for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead, in attendance. Going forward, the Board will meet twice a year to set the CBI’s strategic objectives on trade and investment policy, and to bring businesses together to work with Ministers and officials at the Department for International Trade and across the wider government.
Elsewhere, Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, met Barry Gardiner, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, to discuss customs and trade. During the meeting, Carolyn highlighted the hard-headed analysis of the business costs and benefits which led to the CBI calling for the UK to stay in a customs union with the EU earlier this year. On trade, they discussed the amendments to the Trade Bill as well as how the CBI could help build awareness among MPs on what can be done on trade policy while still being in a customs union.
Finally, the CBI supported a London First event on the upcoming Heathrow vote which brought together MPs from all sides of the debate. Attendees heard from Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, who spoke about the vital benefits for the whole of the UK of the delivery of a third runway at Heathrow, ahead of the Commons vote on this issue next week. The CBI’s infrastructure team spoke to guests and MPs in attendance about the importance of expanding the UK’s aviation capacity, and creating new flight routes to rapidly growing markets from airports across the UK. This is mission critical to ensuring businesses across Britain can compete on the post-Brexit world stage. The CBI has also written to MPs ahead of the vote, following the debate in the commons, the CBI will be responding to the final outcome.
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