Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the new members of the Business Advisory Group, which will meet quarterly to discuss industry concerns over policies and governmental issues. The group will discuss a wide range of topics, including the renegotiation of terms between the UK and Europe, as well as financial and business related matters.
The new group has been formed after a number of key members from the group that were in place during the last government left key roles within the city, and even moved to take jobs abroad. Heads of major companies including Asda, Persimmon, and Santander are included in the line-up of some of the country’s most successful business people. The first meeting will be held in Autumn, and will continue on a quarterly basis thereafter.
There was scepticism when the formation of the board was first announced by David Cameron in 2010. Journalists pointed to the fact that many of the business leaders were far removed from the UK, some had moved their primary business endeavours off UK shores, and at least one was no longer sitting in the chair that presumably won him a place in the advisory group in the first place. In these respects, at least to some degree, the Prime Minister seems to have listened.
The group is meant to be representative of all business in the UK, so includes heads of retail, fashion, technology, energy, and various other industries. Members are essentially expected to impart knowledge of UK industry to the Prime Minister, and discuss the impact of governmental decisions and new regulations on businesses across the country. Another area where the PM received criticism 5 years ago, however, was in the fact that there are civil servants and other professionals within government that are paid to do exactly this.
One of the areas that the newly elected members will be called upon to discuss is that of Europe, and primarily the renegotiation of the deal that could keep the UK in Europe or see its exit from the Union. Rates, economic matters, and new legislation are also likely to be among the group’s advisory remit.