Business Council launch reaction

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce welcomes the attendance of both the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary and the Shadow Chancellor at the inaugural meeting of the new British Chamber of Commerce Business Council.

The Rt Hon Michael Gove and the Rt Hon Rachel Reeves were among those at the first meeting of the new body, comprising some of the most prominent names in the world of British businesses.

Set up to work in partnership with politicians to drive the future of the economy, 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.

Among the founding members is energy giant Drax which operates a huge power station in North Yorkshire and is a patron member of West & North Yorkshire Chamber.

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

James Mason, chief executive of West & North Yorkshire Chamber, said: “The need for the voice of business to be heard at the highest level could not be more of an imperative for the UK economy and so it was wonderful to see such high-level engagement from Westminster at the inaugural Business Council event.

“We look forward to feeding into the Council’s work and making sure our membership is able to make their views known.”

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.”

Mr 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.”

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