Weekly Policy Report 27 – 31 March 2023  

We have reached the final week in March, the end of the first quarter in 2023, and the last of winter is ebbing away.

This week has been about forward thinking, in line with the clocks springing into BST. Scotland is entering a new chapter of leadership, the government is strategising on Net Zero future security, and the UK trade negotiations team is looking on into the Indo-Pacific…

And in first place… – Scotland has a new first minister! After Nicola Sturgeon stepped down last month, a leadership race ensued, and it was Humza Yousaf who claimed the top spot. We weren’t too surprised, since he was always the bookies’ favourite. Click here for our commentary.

Still on a mission – On Thursday, the government published a new energy security plan, net zero plan and a green finance strategy. Now that’s a triple whammy! But we still think they need more ambition. We feel there is room for further intervention among SMEs, which account for 50% of business emissions. More needs to be done to launch them on their journey to net zero. Read our full analysis here.

It’s a deal – The UK has today announced the success of one of its most sought after post-Brexit ambitions: accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, or more simply (debateable) referred to as CPTPP. This is a big win for the UK, and one we welcome and support. There are, however, a few questions on how economically beneficial the bloc will really be to our economy. Here are our thoughts.

DECI – Our Directors Economic Confidence Index shows, based on Policy Voice data, the balance of director confidence in the prospects for the UK economy. In each survey we send to our members, we ask how optimistic or pessimistic businesses are feeling about the UK economy. We then subtract those who are feeling pessimistic from those who are feeling optimistic, and voila, we have our index. Last month it was -17. Find out what it is when we publish this month’s figure tomorrow.

Parliament is in recess for Easter next week, and the rest of us are looking forward to a nice four-day weekend.

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