15 September 2023

The BCC has held its inaugural​​ ​meeting of its new Business Council alongside Cabinet Minister, the Rt Hon Michael Gove and Shadow Chancellor, the Rt Hon Rachel Reeves.  The new body, comprising​​ ​​some of the most ​prominent British​​ ​businesses, has been brought together to work in partnership with politicians to drive the future of the economy​​​ at this ​​crucial​​ time​​​.​

The Business Council will focus on five key challenges and will develop policy​ proposals​ that ​will​​ ​​help ​transform the ​future of the ​UK economy. Its ​initial​​ recommendations ​will feed into a Business Manifesto in the new year that ​will​ ​aim​ to influence​​​​​​ ​​political party​​​​ ​manifestos ahead of ​the General Election. The Council will then work to develop follow-up papers – to help the next Government set a business-backed agenda from day one and establish a long-term strategy for growth.​  Business Council members will ​focus ​on at least one of the challenges. The​ challenge themes will​ all ​be ​chaired by ​five ​experienced business​ ​​leaders,​ working with commissions of businesses, experts, Chamber representatives and academics.

They will begin meeting in the coming weeks and will produce their first policy recommendations in early 2024.

​​​BCC President and Business Council Chair, Baroness Martha Lane Fox, said:   “​Now more than ever, businesses must come together to tackle the challenges facing the UK economy.​​  In the face of economic disruption and with a general election looming, our new, national​ Business Council​ will help the voice of business to be heard loud and clear by policymakers.​  Together in ​partnership with politicians​,​ ​it will​ find the answers to the key issues facing the UK economy, so it was great to have Michael Gove and Rachel Reeves join us​ for our inaugural event today​.  The expertise and experience that our council members ​bring​ to the table allow​s​ for a powerful and engaging debate about the problems ​but also helps to identify the​​​​ ​solutions.  Firms are realistic and understand the financial limitations that the Governments of both today and the next five years will be facing.  But it’s through ​initiatives​​ ​like these that we can work ​collectively ​to make a real difference for businesses on the frontline of the economy and give them the tools they need ​to​ ​succeed​.  This was an excellent first meeting to act as a springboard in developing practical and pragmatic policies across the five challenge​ area​s.”

The Rt Hon Michael Gove said:  “The Government is focused on the Prime Minister’s missions to grow the economy and halve inflation.  Levelling up plays a crucial part in that which is why I’m so pleased to be meeting with leading businesses at the BCC Business Council to discuss challenges and opportunities across the country and am very grateful to the British Chamber of Commerce for their excellent work on the Business Council.  Boosting skills up and down the country and improving digital connectivity are key tenets of spreading opportunity across the UK, and will in, turn, contribute to economic growth.”


For more information, visit:  www.britishchambers.org.uk