Aside from weekly engagements with the Business Secretary, the British Chambers has met with the Prime Minister and other critical Secretaries of State to advocate on behalf of Chamber business communities – the UK’s civic businesses – in the corridors of power.
As we go into these engagements with Cabinet Ministers, I’m struck by how deep our knowledge of business interests is. In fighting for Chamber members, we can draw not just on best-in-class data and surveys, but also on discussions and input from the business community. I frequently meet firms with amazing stories to tell, from Coventry to Cumbria, and each conversation feeds in to our engagement with government on the issues that matter. And it’s not just about Brexit – the best deal available won’t matter if we don’t get the best domestic environment here at home. Our physical and digital infrastructure needs to improve, and businesses are fed up with being clobbered by a raft of upfront costs, from business rates and the Apprenticeship Levy to the migrant skills charge and Living Wage increases.
Amid the public posturing on both sides, we are working with government to answer the practical, real-world questions that businesses face as a result of Brexit. Who can we hire, and from where, and for how long? Who do we pay VAT to? Whose regulations and standards do we need to comply with? And so on. As we engage with Whitehall in the weeks and months to come, we’ll be demanded answers to the questions that trouble businesses as we transition to a life outside the EU.
Director of Research and Economics at The British Chambers of Commerce
Mike joined the BCC in February 2011 and became Director of Research and Economics in January 2014. He directs the BCC's policy research and survey programme. Mike represents the BCC externally on business policy and matters relating to local economic development.