On the new UK immigration system

From 2021, any firm seeking to hire workers from overseas will need to use a new immigration system. Several aspects of the new system were welcomed by the CBI, as Director General, Carolyn Fairbairn added:

"Careful implementation across all UK nations and regions will be required. Above all, the government must work with employers and employees - especially smaller firms - to ensure they have the time to adapt to new policies and practices."

18 Feb 2020

On HS2

After a long campaigning effort from the CBI, the Prime Minister has given the green light to HS2, bringing jobs, new homes, skills and investment to businesses across the north and midlands. Chief UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell added:

"The Prime Minister’s decision to back HS2 is exactly the sort of bold, decisive action required to inject confidence in the economy. It sends the right signal around the world that the UK is open for business."

11 Feb 2020

On the Parker Review

While some FTSE firms have made measurable progress when it comes to ethnic diversity in the boardroom, the bottom line is business has to significantly up its game, said CBI Chief UK Policy Officer Mathew Fell. He added:

“Businesses need the same focus on ethnicity diversity as on gender diversity. If they do, then meeting the 2021 target of at least one director from an ethnic minority background is still possible."

05 Feb 2020

On the UK's departure from the EU

Despite the challenges of the last three years, together we have made progress. No deal has been avoided and a year of status quo gives time to shape that new relationship, said CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn. She added:

"Now the real work begins. It’s time to focus on the future and build a new relationship with Europe. "This can reflect our shared values and mutual interest, and support bold global trade ambitions.”

31 Jan 2020

CBI Northern Ireland on the Migration Advisory Committee report

With free movement coming to an end, a new immigration system that is fair and sustainable from day one is as important for many firms as our future trading relationships, said CBI Northern Ireland Director. She added:

“Flexibility will be needed to build a system that lets wages rise where there are shortages while helping businesses to access the skills and labour required."

28 Jan 2020

On the 5G decision

This solution appears a sensible compromise that gives the UK access to cutting-edge technology, whilst building in appropriate checks and balances around security, said CBI Chief UK Policy Officer Matthew Fell. He added:

“5G is a technology that will transform lives, businesses and reinvigorate the UK’s digital infrastructure. It has the potential to add real economic value to all parts of country and end the digital divide which holds too many rural areas back.”

28 Jan 2020

On the Migratory Advisoriy Committee report

Reducing the headline salary threshold will be welcomed by businesses, which argued that a £30,000 cap would be damaging, said CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell. He added:

"Yet even with a commitment to world class business training, it remains unclear how firms can hire for mid-skilled roles such as LGV drivers, joiners and lab technicians who don’t meet the £25,600 test."

28 Jan 2020

On the new legal right to parental bereavement leave

CBI Director of People and Skills Matthew Percival welcomed new legal right to parental bereavement leave. He added:

"The loss of any child is unimaginably difficult. Giving time for families to grieve without the worry of what’s going on at work is fundamental.”

23 Jan 2020

On the second reading of the digtal infrastructure bill

CBI Director of Digital and Innovation Felicity Burch welcomed the rapid action government is taking to give leaseholders and tenants access to fast, reliable gigabit connectivity. She added:

“Firms are ready to work with Government to make even more progress including on planning reform to support 5G rollout and addressing connectivity in new build developments.”

22 Jan 2020

On the Stormont deal agreement

CBI Northern Ireland Director Angela McGowan has welcomed the agreement of the Stormont deal and made the call to reaffirm Northern Ireland’s reputation as a great place to do business. She added:

“CBI Northern Ireland will continue to work with policymakers and bring evidence to the table, so that together we can deliver ambitious solutions to the economic and environmental challenges that we face.”

10 Jan 2020

On plans to raise the National Living Wage

Business shares the government’s ambition for a higher wage, said CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell. He added:

“It’s vital that the Low Pay Commission has the full range of tools at its disposal to judge the evidence base, pace and affordability for any future rises to ensure the UK’s successful job creation story continues into the coming decade.”

31 Dec 2019

On the new Governor of the Bank of England

CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith has warmly congratulated Andrew Bailey on his appointment as the new Governor of the Bank of England:

“His strong experience, both in Threadneedle Street and at the Financial Conduct Authority, means he is particularly well placed to steer the British economy through the new course it will take after Brexit, and through challenging global economic times."

20 Dec 2019

On the Queen's Speech

CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie had responded to the Queen's Speech:

“The Prime Minister can have confidence that business is up for the challenges ahead. To make this Queen’s Speech a real Christmas present for the country, it’s time to bring together all the investment, skills and creativity of the public and private sector and get to work.”

19 Dec 2019

On the Brydon Review

CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell has welcomed the findings of the Brydon Review of the audit industry, which should help it continue to evolve to meet the growing expectations of the market. He added:

“The Brydon review was always going to be the guiding light to inform all other changes around the audit market. Its publication means that 2020 can be a year of positive action following a series of consultations.”

18 Dec 2019

On plans for the Brexit Bill

Business has had enough of uncertainty and shares the Prime Minister’s ambition for a fast EU trade deal, CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn has said. She added:

"Firms stand ready to bring the evidence needed from factories and boardrooms across the UK to enable a good trade deal to be agreed as quickly as possible."

17 Dec 2019

To the latest PISA results

The UK has made gains in reading, maths and science, according to the international school rankings from the OECD. John Cope, CBI Head of Education and Skills policy, said:

“This year’s results confirm the UK is outperforming the PISA average, but there are some clear areas where improvement must happen. Young people’s ability and potential is evenly spread across the country, yet opportunity for them to succeed is not."

03 Dec 2019

On the SNP manifesto

CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black has responded to the launch of the SNP manifesto:

“Amidst the political and constitutional debate, we can’t lose sight of what Scotland’s economy really needs – devolved and central governments working together, using every lever at their disposal to stimulate growth and generate prosperity.”

27 Nov 2019

On the Conservative manifesto

CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie has responded to the launch of the Conservative manifesto

“Businesses will be heartened by a pro-enterprise vision. But sustainable economic growth will be risked if there is a needless rush for a bare bones Brexit deal that would slow down our domestic progress for a generation.”

24 Nov 2019

On the Liberal Democrat manifesto

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn has responded to the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto:

“Many aspects of the Lib Dems’ manifesto will help enterprise flourish. But there is a mixed picture when it comes to infrastructure. Kicking the can down the road with a moratorium on airport expansions is not a viable option for a leading economy.”

21 Nov 2019

On the Labour manifesto

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn has responded to the launch of the Labour manifesto:

“Labour’s default instinct for state control will drag our economy down, rather than lift people up. Business shares Labour’s goals for a close trade relationship with Europe and a fairer, greener and more inclusive economy at home.”

21 Nov 2019

The government's productivity review

CBI Director of Digital and Innovation Felicity Burch welcomed the publication of the government's productivity review, which contained several CBI recommendations:

“The next government will need to have a concrete plan to tackle the UK’s productivity puzzle. This review provides some clear cut answers from increasing funding for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships to creating benchmarking tools to help firms understand the productivity challenge."

06 Nov 2019

Adrian Smith review on R&D

The government-commissioned Changes and Choices report sets out independent advice on the design of UK funding schemes for international collaboration and innovation. Felicity Birch, CBI Director of Digital and Innovation, comments:

“Businesses and universities conducting research rely on international collaboration to thrive – they require access to talent, skills and funding. It is welcome that government is looking at alternatives to provide stability for firms to continue to invest in UK R&D."

05 Nov 2019



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