Five new business councils to advise the Prime Minister on post-Brexit opportunities

Published:  07 November, 2018

The Prime Minister has formed five new business councils to advise on how to create the best business conditions in the UK after Brexit.

Each council will aim to meet three times a year, twice with Theresa May and once with a senior cabinet minister, to provide high-level advice and policy recommendations on the critical issues affecting business. The councils will also be a forum for government to share developing policy ideas and seek the views of members.

Co-chaired by two business leaders, each council will have around ten members representing core sectors of the UK economy, as well as a representative from the UK’s key business groups.

Infrastructure, construction and housing will be covered by the Industrial, Infrastructure and Manufacturing Committee, which will be co-chaired by Sir Roger Carr (Chairman, BAE Systems) and Ian Davis (Chairman, Rolls Royce). Stephen Phipson (Chief Executive Officer of the EEF) will be the business group representative.

May said: "The UK has always been one of the best places in the world to do business and is a leader in sectors from advanced manufacturing to the creative industries.

"Brexit presents a huge opportunity to build a better, stronger economy for people all over the country. So I’ve asked these new councils to advise us on the opportunities and challenges facing business as we shape the UK for the future."

Carr said: "Companies in the industrial, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors are the backbone of the economy and amongst our largest employers. We are a vital part of the wealth creating machinery of the country where improved training, productivity and exporting will be the cornerstones of our global success. Engaging with the Prime Minister to tackle these issues in a focused and practical manner is a welcome and important step forward in achieving our collective growth ambitions."

May is due to welcome the co-chairs at Downing Street for the first time today, when she will set out their objectives and they will discuss cross-cutting issues such as productivity and international investment.

They are:

  • Jan du Plessis (Chairman, BT Group) and Carolyn McCall (CEO, ITV) will co-chair the Telecoms, Creative, Technology and Media Council. John Allan (President, CBI) and Stephen Martin (Director General, IOD) will be the business group representatives
  • Sir Roger Carr (Chairman, BAE Systems) and Ian Davis (Chairman, Rolls Royce) will co-chair the Industrial, Infrastructure and Manufacturing Council. Stephen Phipson (CEO, EEF) will be the business group representative
  • James Timpson (CEO, Timpson), Brent Hoberman (Co-Founder and Chairman, Founders Forum) and Emma Jones (Founder, Enterprise Nation) will co-chair the Small Business, Scale ups and Entrepreneurs Council. Mike Cherry (National Chairman, Federation of Small Business) will be the business group representative
  • Paul Manduca (Chairman, Prudential) and Shriti Vadera (Chairman, Santander UK) will co-chair the Services - Financial, Professional and Education Services Council. Carolyn Fairbairn, (DG, CBI) will be the business group representative
  • Dave Lewis (CEO, Tesco) and Emma Walmsley (CEO, GSK) will co-chair the Consumer, Retail and Life Sciences Council. Adam Marshall (DG, British Chambers of Commerce) will be the business group representative.

Jones said: "The overwhelming majority of businesses in the UK are small and they are the heart of our economy – so I’m pleased that their voice is formally being recognised in these councils. I’m looking forward to representing these entrepreneurs and innovators and discussing their unique perspective with the Prime Minister."

The business councils will provide the Prime Minister and her ministerial team with regular, high-level advice and policy recommendations on critical issues affecting business that will enable companies to invest, grow and succeed in the UK once it leaves the European Union.

Sign Up

For the Builders' Merchants News enewsletter.

In the spotlight

We have vacancies all over the UK for those who work within the Building Supplies sector.