Boris assembles new cohort of business leaders to turbocharge UK economy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is launching a new Business Council following the two-year Brexit anniversary, as part of ambitions to assert the UK as the best place in the world to do business.

The Prime Minister’s revamped Business Council, co-chaired by the Chancellor, will convene a new cohort of business leaders to work in partnership with the Government, helping to drive a high productivity, high growth economy over the next 12 months and level up local economies around the country.

The new Council will support the UK’s recovery from Covid-19 and prioritise delivering the green industrial revolution, creating new jobs and developing a skilled workforce, and unlocking global investment. This follows the Prime Minister’s pledge this week to capitalise on regulatory freedoms two years on from our departure from the EU, in another move that will support businesses to invest, innovate and create jobs.

Building on the successes of last year’s Build Back Better Business Council, the Prime Minister’s Business Council will retain and implement the three core pillars of the Plan for Growth framework – infrastructure, innovation, and skills – against which Council members will continue to translate goals into measurable action.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

We’ve got one of Europe’s most open economies thanks to our vaccine rollout programme, and with Plan B restrictions firmly behind us we can now go further to turbocharge the economy and unleash the benefits of Brexit.

Harnessing the extraordinary powers of our new Business Council, together we will knuckle down on creating new high skilled, high wage jobs, driving innovation in science and tech, and mobilising investment to deliver the green industrial revolution – all while levelling up and securing the UK as the best place to do business.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

Thanks to the speed of our vaccine rollout and unprecedented package of covid support we have the fastest growing economy in the G7 – and it’s vital we continue on that path by grasping the opportunities ahead.

We’re investing billions in innovation, infrastructure and skills to release the potential of the whole of the UK and ensure the UK continues to be the most attractive place in the world to do business.

This new Businesses Council will help drive this vision forward and ensure our Plan for Growth is delivered successfully – levelling up across the country and powering a high growth, high productivity economy.

Meeting at least quarterly, the Prime Minister’s Business Council will be comprised of 28 members from a range of industries and sectors, including manufacturing, financial services, energy, and world renowned science and technology sectors. The line-up also consists of 13 women, which sees an increase in the proportion of female members from last year’s Build Back Better Business Council.

The Business Secretary and Trade Secretary will be standing members, with the addition of the Education Secretary to focus on skills. Other Cabinet Ministers will attend meetings as required.

The first Prime Minister’s Business Council is scheduled for the coming weeks, and will be co-chaired by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

Amanda Blanc, Group CEO, Aviva said:

A thriving UK economy takes partnership between government, business and our communities.

We all benefit when companies are able to invest in the jobs, skills and infrastructure the country needs to compete globally, and seize the opportunities of a sustainable, low carbon future. I’m delighted to join the Prime Minister’s Business Council to promote our nation’s growth.

Nigel Toon, CEO and co-founder, Graphcore said:

I am delighted to be joining the Prime Minister’s Business Council for 2022. We are living in a time of huge change, but also immense opportunity.

The Government is, rightly, seeking to build on the UK’s position as a world leader in the development and application of new technologies, from artificial intelligence to renewable energy. That expertise, combined with a natural spirit of entrepreneurship, has the potential to transform our economy at home, and elevate our country on the global stage.

Anne Boden, Founder and CEO of Starling Bank said:

I hope to bring to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor the unique perspective of small business owners, start-ups and sole traders who dare to innovate, take risks and build enterprises, and to share the views of the UK’s thriving Fintech sector.

Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, Scottish Power said:

Speeding up the journey to Net Zero is at the heart of everything we do. Taking our cue from the vision set out in the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, we’re leading the way in investing in renewable power and grid infrastructure so that everyone can benefit from decarbonisation.

We’re committed to ensuring the economic benefits of Net Zero are felt in local communities right across the UK.

Charles Hammond OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Forth Ports said:

Global Britain is the platform to promote innovation, skills and productivity for all UK businesses, large and small.

This will ensure we are 21st century-ready to trade, attract foreign investment and drive green-based business jobs and growth. Infrastructure and skills investment in port areas will improve productivity and create jobs in many coastal areas in need of regeneration.

Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.


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