Press release: PM meeting with Business Council co-chairs: 9 October 2019

The Prime Minister met with the co-chairs of the five Business Councils at Downing Street this afternoon. The Business Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, also joined the meeting.

The Prime Minister thanked all the co-chairs for the policy initiatives they have put forward on issues affecting the UK business environment and competitiveness, and emphasised that he wants the UK to be the best place to start, grow and run a business.

Many of the councils’ initiatives have been progressed as part of the Prime Minister’s key priorities for post-Brexit Britain, including a new Trans-Pennine rail route between Manchester and Leeds to boost regional growth, a new immigration visa to enable international students to work in the UK for two-years after graduation, and a £5bn gigabit broadband boost.

The Prime Minister set out ongoing work in Whitehall to take forward ideas from the councils, from measures to boost research and development to support for tech entrepreneurs.

On Brexit, the Prime Minister reiterated that we want the UK to leave the EU with a deal when we depart on 31 October. The Business Secretary urged the co-chairs to support small businesses and those in their supply chain to get ready for Brexit at the end of the month.

They agreed to continue to drive progress on the recommendations from the councils across government in the upcoming months.

Co-chairs in attendance

  • Sir Ian Davis, Chairman, Rolls Royce
  • Sir Roger Carr, Chairman, BAE Systems
  • Jan Du Plessis, BT Group
  • Dave Lewis, CEO, Tesco
  • Emma Walmsley, CEO, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Baroness Shriti Vadera, Chair, Santander UK
  • Emma Jones, Founder, Enterprise Nation
  • Brent Hoberman, Chairman, Founders’ Factory