IoD Weekly Policy Report 5 - 9 June 2023

Summertime, and the livin’ is… perhaps getting somewhat easier? The sun is out, business confidence is teetering on the edge of achieving positive and sporting season has begun. Tennis, cricket, and good old fashioned political competition leading up to the next General Election. Labour is getting noisier, and the Conservatives are keeping busy. Meanwhile, so are we. This week seems to have been all about decision making…

Industry talks – Our most recent Policy Voice survey shows an overwhelming majority of IoD members want the government to create a UK industrial strategy. The general consensus is that businesses want a long-term policy dedicated to ensuring stability, particularly on the UK’s capabilities regarding innovation and R&D.

To ESG or not to ESG? – That is the question. Our members agree that considering ESG factors allow them to make better decisions for their organisations, but that ESG has become somewhat politicised, confusing, and associated with greenwashing. At the same time they don’t want governance to get lost among the other letters, since when we asked them which is more important, the E, S, or G, our members think told us they are of similar importance, but maybe governance that little bit more.

Performance review – The trading relationship the UK has with the EU is to be reviewed in 2026. We want to influence the debate on this, and so we want to hear from you. What changes do you want to see to the UK-EU trade agreement? Join the conversation on our LinkedIn post, look out for our next survey, which will have a question on this, and leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

United states? – The Prime Minister met with President Biden this week to chat all things trade, defence and economics. They signed the ‘Atlantic Declaration’ to strengthen ties between our countries. Biden insisted no country is closer to the US than the UK (though Canada and Mexico may disagree), and our Prime Minister emphasised our special relationship. While some may interpret this as a further gambit against China, it is certainly positive for transatlantic relations.

Taking care of business A Bill which will give five day’s unpaid leave per year for carers in the workforce has been granted Royal Assent, to be law in 2024. We are engaging with Carers UK on this to discuss what this means for Directors, and what changes they might need to make on behalf of their workforce.

Next Week watch out for…

Tuesday 13 June

  • We are attending an event with the Institute of Export and Kemi Badenoch, Business and Trade Secretary, to launch their E-Commerce Trade Commission, which seeks to raise awareness of the export opportunities out there for small businesses, and how they can leverage online platforms to reach a wider pool of customers.
  • We are hosting an event at the IoD to celebrate our 120th birthday. That’s 120 years of connecting members, developing directors, and influencing government. Come and celebrate with us.
  • The House of Commons has appointed a general committee to take oral evidence on the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill.
  • ONS will be publishing the latest UK labour market statistics.
  • Our latest Policy Voice survey will go live, so look out for your invitation in your inbox. We are asking about Brexit, competition policy, capital expenditure plans, and economic confidence.

Wednesday 14 June

  • Prime Minister’s Questions at midday.
  • ONS will publish its GDP monthly estimate for April 2023
  • ONS will publish UK trade statistics for April 2023

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