Science & Technology Committee report on R&D spending

The CBI's Director of Innovation & Digital, Felicity Burch, welcomed the Committees call for an ambitous plan to reach the 2.4% R&D target by 2027. She added:

“The Committee’s recognition that innovation support must be more accessible and easier to navigate is something the CBI has long been calling for. Change will be critical if the UK is to remain the home of ground-breaking discoveries and inventions.”

11 Sep 2019

International student visas

The CBI's Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Few has responded to the government's proposal to give international students two years to find a job after graduating from university:

“This is unequivocally good news and sends a clear signal that the UK is open for business. Improving the UK’s post-study work offer will make us an even more attractive destination for global talent – benefiting both universities and businesses alike."

11 Sep 2019

On the COP26 announcement

The UK is set to host the international climate change conference, COP26, in Glasgow in 2020. Matthew Fell, CBI's Chief UK Policy Director, said:

"This is a golden opportunity for the country to demonstrate its continued leadership from the front on global climate action."

10 Sep 2019

Labour leader's speech at TUC Congress

Jeremy Corbyn has given a speech to the TUC's Annual Conference in Brighton outlining his plans for extending workers' rights and signalling widespread renationalisation. CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie commented:

"These proposals fail to reflect the reality in workplaces around the country. The vast majority of firms thrive on strong employee engagement, invest in training and prioritise wellbeing. They support jobs, sustainable wage rises and enforcement of employment law."

10 Sep 2019

The vote to delay Brexit

MPs have voted for a bill which, if it passes through the House of Lords, would force the Prime Minister to ask the EU to extend the UK's membership beyond 31 October. CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn said:

“From the political turmoil a small chink of light for business - most firms back an extension over the known harm of no deal. Yet, with an election looming, many remain deeply concerned about the ongoing impact of uncertainty on the economy."

05 Sep 2019

The Spending Review

CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith welcomed the government's ambition to overcome regional inequalities, revitalise the education system and encourage the move to a net zero economy, but she added:

“Let’s be clear – in the event of a no deal, the damage to our economy means this ambition will count for nothing, and the country will be stuck in a swamp of uncertainty."

04 Sep 2019

On Scotland's Programme for Government

CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black responds as the First Minister announces her plans for the year ahead:

“The Programme outlines some ambitious spending commitments which makes growing the economy all the more important. Firms will be keen to see clear action on creating a competitive business and regulatory environment that helps them do what they do best – grow, invest and create jobs."

04 Sep 2018

On the G7 Summit

Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, urged the Prime Minister to defend the international trading system at all costs, and to bring together all leaders with a compelling vision of inclusive and sustainable growth for the 21st century. He added:

“With a clear vision, the G7 can drive inclusive solutions to our shared global environmental and climate challenges, preserve free and fair trade, and harness the power of the digital economy while boosting jobs and living standards for all citizens.”

23 Aug 2019

The latest immigration statistics

Net immigration to the UK has fallen to its lowest levels since December 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics. CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell commented:

“The downward trend in EU net migration in the last couple of years – combined with record low unemployment – means that skills shortages are getting worse."

22 Aug 2019

On GCSE results day

John Cope, the CBI's Head of Education and Skills policy, welcomed the rise in maths and science entries, the number of young women taking computing and those taking Spanish, but emphasised the need to tackle educational inequalities:

“Young people not reaching their potential has real consequences for our economy – it means we’ve lost business leaders, scientists, innovators, and the artists of the future.”

22 Aug 2019

On the HS2 review announcement

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has instituted a review of the HS2 project. Responding to the news, CBI Director of Infrastructure Tom Thackray said:

“The business message on HS2 is clear-cut - back it, build it, benefit from it. The debate has gone round the houses too many times."

22 Aug 2019

Latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures

That Scotland’s overall fiscal position has improved for a third year in a row is obviously welcome, said Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director. She added:

“While things are moving in the right direction, there’s absolutely no room for complacency, particularly as Scotland still lags way behind the rest of the UK when you look at the deficit as a percentage of GDP. "

21 Aug 2019

HMRC Brexit planning

Nicole Sykes, CBI Head of EU Negotiations, welcomed the news that more than 88,000 VAT-registered companies across the UK will be allocated an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number by HMRC as a sensible measure from the government. But she cautioned:

“The web of short and long-term consequences of no deal go well beyond this, which are both complex and damaging. That’s why the Government must put just as much time and effort into securing a deal.”

21 Aug 2019

Freedom of Movement

CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie has commented on news that the government will end rules allowing EU nationals to live and work freely in the UK, in the event of a no-deal Brexit:

“Businesses and workers know the immigration system is changing. Yet announcing that the existing arrangements may end before a replacement has been designed, delivered or tested will only cause confusion."

19 Aug 2019

On A-Level results day

As pupils across England, Northern Ireland and Wales find out how they performed, CBI Head of Education and Skills policy John Cope said:

“This year’s A-Level results paint a mixed picture. Firms will be reassured by the rise in science subjects - especially among women - and that uptake in modern foreign languages has held."

15 Aug 2019

On vocational results day

As thousands of students receive their technical qualifications results across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, CBI Head of Education and Skills policy John Cope said:

“Employers see these technical qualifications as world class, not second class – and the start to a great career."

14 Aug 2019

On the latest GDP figures

In response to the latest GDP figures showing that the UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the second quarter of this year, Alpesh Paleja, CBI Lead Economist, said:

“Securing a Brexit deal before the October 31 deadline is the first step to revving up the economy. The second is re-focusing attention on vital domestic priorities – such as pressing ahead with key infrastructure projects – to boost productivity and growth potential over the longer-term.”

09 Aug 2019

On the need to accelerate no-deal planning

In response to the increased risk of a no-deal Brexit, the CBI has published a new report which puts forward 200 recommendations to help the UK to prepare. CBI Deputy Director-General Josh Hardie said:

“Preparing for no deal is devilishly difficult. But it is right to prepare. The CBI will continue to support its members to get ready for no deal, as it has for been doing for over a year, but it will need all parties to raise their game.”

28 Jul 2019

On the net migration target announcement

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director welcomed the scrapping of the net migration target, commenting:

“A focus on need, not numbers, will ensure the UK can access vital skills and labour to grow the economy."

25 Jul 2019

On the new Prime Minister

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn has congratulated Boris Johnson on being announced as the new PM. She also reiterated the business asks from the manifesto for government published by the CBI on Monday, adding:

"British business shares your optimism for the UK. Let’s work together to get our economy back on track and working for communities everywhere."

23 Jul 2019

Labour market update

Labour market statistics for March-May 2019 show employment increased by 28,000 compared with the previous quarter, while unemployment is down by 51,000. Alpesh Paleja, CBI Principal Economist, commented:

“It’s encouraging that pay growth has picked up further. But as recent data shows productivity remains in the doldrums. Reinvigorating efforts to boost productivity is critical. Firms must focus on innovative ways to share new ideas, invest in people and technologies."

16 Jul 2019



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