Bri­tish PM May woos busi­ness with new body to talk Brexit, in­dus­try

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Lon­don, UK - Bri­tain’s Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May will launch a new busi­ness ad­vi­sory group to­day, her of­fice said, as her gov­ern­ment tries to build bridges with fi­nan­cial and trade bod­ies dur­ing Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

May will chair the first in a reg­u­lar se­ries of meet­ings of the busi­ness coun­cil in her of­fi­cial Down­ing Street res­i­dence, with dis­cus­sions due to fo­cus on the terms of the UK’s with­drawal from the Euro­pean Union (EU), and wider eco­nomic is­sues such as the gov­ern­ment’s in­dus­trial strat­egy.

The fo­rum aims to give busi­ness a di­rect link to May and her se­nior team run­ning the gov­ern­ment’s Brexit strat­egy, her of­fice said in an emailed state­ment. Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer Philip Ham­mond, Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Greg Clark, and Ju­nior Brexit Min­is­ter Robin Walker, will join to­day’s meet­ing, along with busi­ness fig­ures Ralf Speth from Jaguar Land Rover, Tesco’s Dave Lewis and Pru­den­tial’s Paul Man­d­uca.

Stephen Martin from the In­sti­tute of Di­rec­tors, Carolyn Fair­bairn, from the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish In­dus­try, and Mike Cherry from the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses will also be among the guests, May’s of­fice said.

The Prime Min­is­ter is look­ing for al­lies as she seeks to re­assert her au­thor­ity over her weak­ened mi­nor­ity Tory gov­ern­ment, while at the same time push­ing for a good Brexit deal in Brus­sels.

On Tues­day, May read the rule book to her most se­nior min­is­ters af­ter days of poi­sonous brief­ings and counter-brief­ings to the me­dia by sup­port­ers of ri­val can­di­dates to re­place her.

The in­fight­ing made a dif­fi­cult back­drop for Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis and his team of of­fi­cials to make progress in the sec­ond full round of talks on Bri­tain’s with­drawal from the EU, tak­ing place this week in Brus­sels.

In an ex­tra­or­di­nary pub­lic state­ment on Sun­day, Ham­mond claimed he’d be­come a tar­get for Brexit-sup­port­ing col­leagues who want to un­der­mine him be­cause they don’t want his vi­sion of a busi­ness-friendly Brexit that fo­cuses on min­imis­ing dis­rup­tion to gain trac­tion.

May told her Cab­i­net to stop feud­ing. “The Prime Min­is­ter said that the brief­ings and counter-brief­ings over the week­end had been a case of col­leagues not tak­ing their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties se­ri­ously,” May’s spokesman, James Slack, told re­porters in Lon­don af­ter Tues­day’s Cab­i­net meet­ing.

May also won the back­ing of the pow­er­ful 1922 Com­mit­tee, rep­re­sent­ing rank-and-file Tories in Par­lia­ment. “The Prime Min­is­ter has the full sup­port of col­leagues in Par­lia­ment,” said Gra­ham Brady, the se­nior Con­ser­va­tive who chairs the com­mit­tee. “It is in­cum­bent on all of us to work to­gether in the pub­lic in­ter­est.”

Those at­tend­ing the busi­ness coun­cil meet­ing to­day in­clude: Roger Carr, chair­man of BAE Sys­tems; Fran­cis Martin, from the Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce; John Pet­ti­grew, CEO of Na­tional Grid; Luke John­son, from Risk Cap­i­tal; Kathryn Par­sons, CEO of De­coded.


Bri­tain’s Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May

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