Latest News and Information from the British Embassy
On May 22nd 2018, Chancellor Hammond gave the keynote address at the annual CBI dinner in London. His full speech text is available online CLICK HERE.
His speech has excellent material for us to draw on, including Brexit lines on customs union and the Modern Industrial Strategy.
Key Topics in Speech:
- · Focus has now moved on to our future economic partnership, and in particular the customs relationship. The UK has proposed two possible future customs models…both are “works in progress”…but we are confident that, building on these two models, we can develop a solution that will allow us to move forward while meeting your concerns.
- · And beyond customs, we will seek a comprehensive system of mutual recognition to ensure that, as now, products only need to undergo approvals in one country to show that they meet regulatory standards across Europe…and we will explore the terms on which the UK could maintain a relationship with the EU agencies, such as those for the chemicals, pharmaceutical, and aerospace industries…as the route to deliver such an outcome.
- · On services, we have the opportunity to establish a broader agreement than ever before…including continued recognition of professional qualifications, and a labour mobility framework that enables travel to provide services to clients in person.
- · And an opportunity to seek a bespoke partnership in financial services that will enable the ongoing delivery of cross-border financial services in both directions, while protecting financial stability and maintaining fair competition.
- · We made good progress in December and March, and I hope and expect we will make further progress at the upcoming June Council.
Modern Industrial Strategy
- · We’ve committed to the largest increase in public R&D spending in three decades, as part of our ambition to raise R&D investment across the economy to 2.4% of GDP.
- · We’re investing £640 million of public money in artificial intelligence and over £1.7 billion in autonomous and ultra-low emission vehicles…and in the Budget last Autumn I launched a plan to unlock over £20 billion of patient capital, for the UK’s most innovative firms to grow to scale.
- · In the 21st century, fibre networks will be the enabling infrastructure that drives economic growth. We’ve already connected more than 95% of the UK to superfast broadband. But we must now take the next big leap forward. So I am now setting a new target to see full-fibre to the premises connections being available to 15 million premises, that’s the majority of homes and businesses, by 2025.
- · And Matt Hancock, the DCMS Secretary, will set out our strategy to deliver these ambitious targets in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, later this Summer.
- · The digital industrial revolution and Artificial Intelligence will bring about a step-change in automation. So the digital industrial revolution will also create millions of new jobs, and huge increases in living standards…but that will not reassure those whose current jobs will be displaced. So, between us in government and business we have a vital role in managing this transition; In investing in skills and retraining; In providing the reassurance our workforce will need.
- · We’re investing over £500 million a year in our new T-Level technical qualifications…and with the help of the CBI and the TUC we are establishing a new National Retraining Scheme to help adults faced with the consequences of technological change to re-train throughout their working lives. It’s a groundbreaking collaboration and I’m delighted we were able to make it happen through the leadership of Paul and others here tonight.
- · We’ll invest £5.6 million to support smaller firms to adapt modern management practices and simple digital technologies, through two new pilot programmes delivered by Charlie Mayfield’s Be the Business.
- · And we’re extending our backing for the Made Smarter Digital Manufacturing strategy led by Juergen Maier – and supported by the CBI. Made Smarter will help to maintain our position as a global leader in the digital revolution, and so we’ll provide £20 million for a pilot in the North West, to support SME manufacturers to adopt industrial digital technologies, such as robotics and data analytics.
In case you haven’t seen, I’ve also attached the CBI Sterling Asset report that was released at the dinner. The data used in the report is drawn from US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Department of Commerce’s Office of Trade and Economic Analysis.
Key Stats from CBI Sterling Asset Report: For Full Report CLICK HERE
- · Demonstrating the impact of British business on America, the report shows that the UK invested $569 billion in the USA, as of the end of 2015 – a rise of $43 billion on 2014. This represents a weighty 18% of the $3.1 trillion of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the USA, and was $155 billion dollars more than the next largest investor (Japan), and over $225 billion more than America’s neighbour, Canada. It also eclipsed investments from the fast-growing economies of China and India, which amounted to less than 1% of FDI.
- · On the other side of the coin, American exports to the UK totalled $121 billion in 2016. Although this was down marginally from $123 billion in 2015, the UK remains the USA’s fourth largest export market for the third year running, and the largest of any European nation by a wide margin.
- · Trade in services between the two countries continues to be healthy – America exported $65 billion of services (down from 2015’s high of $66.9 billion) to the UK in 2016, whilst the UK exported $52 billion of services to the USA, substantially more than any other country (second-ranked Germany only exported $33 billion).
- · British firms are central to the USA’s research and development activities, spending $7.3 billion in 2014.
- · Looking at the individual states, British companies create jobs in every state of the Union. Texas is home to the most jobs supported by British firms – 107,200 jobs (up from 102,200) – followed by New York, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois. New York had the lion’s share of exports to the UK, shipping nearly $5.5 billion worth of goods in 2016.
US-UK Trade on Agenda in July
UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox visited Washington 22-25 July to kick off the first US-UK Trade and Investment Working Group with US Trade Representative, Ambassador Lighthizer.
Their Joint Statement:
US Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said:
”I warmly welcome Dr. Fox and his team back to Washington to kick off the first meeting of the US-UK Trade and Investment Working Group.
“We expect this Working Group to be a key mechanism to deepen our already strong bilateral trade and investment relationship, and to lay the groundwork for our future trade relationship once the UK has left the EU.
“I look forward to building on our already strong economic relationship and furthering our mutual goal of achieving free and fair trade and investment to create good-paying jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”
UK’s International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:
“It is a testament to the political will in both countries that this Working Group is meeting just a month after Ambassador Lighthizer and I discussed it in June. This will be our forum to strengthen the bilateral trade and investment relationship and deepen the already extensive economic ties between the UK and US.
“The immediate priority is to give businesses on both sides of the Atlantic certainty and confidence. Early discussions will focus on providing commercial continuity for US and UK businesses as the UK leaves the EU.
“The working group will also start to lay the ground work for potential negotiations on an ambitious free trade agreement. The US is our single largest trading partner therefore we have a strong foundation on which to build.”
Also BABA’s Chairman and President joined Dr. Fox for trade discussions at an Embassy dinner and Dr. Fox gave a speech on UK trade policy at AEI and launched the UK Trade and Investment Highlights report for 435 US Congressional Districts. The UK is in the top five export markets in over 300 Congressional US districts and supports over 700,000 US jobs via exports to the UK.
In addition, Dr Fox gave a speech on the future of UK trade policy at AEI and launched the UK Trade and Investment Highlights in the 435 US Congressional Districts. This report showed the UK is among the top five export markets for more than 300 Congressional Districts in the US and supports more than 700,000 US jobs through exports to the UK.
The second round of the Brexit negotiations were completed in July. Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, said discussions focused on understanding each other’s position on citizens’ rights; the financial settlement; the first meetings of sub-groups on separation issues, and on the issues around Ireland and Northern Ireland.
On January 26 Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the Republican Party Conference and spoke about the special relationship between the UK and the USA.
Prime Minister Theresa May sets out the 12 negotiating priorities for Brexit as part of the Plan for Britain after leaving the EU.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said: “There are opportunities too. Opportunities to get out into the world and do new business with old allies and new partners. To use the freedoms that come from negotiating with partners directly, to be flexible, to set our own rules and forge new and dynamic trading agreements that work for the whole UK. Opportunities to become the true global champion of free trade.” [...]
“We have already received massive votes of confidence in Britain’s long-term future from some of the world’s most innovative companies. Nissan’s decision to build 2 next-generation models at its plant in the North East, securing 7,000 jobs. A record £24 billion investment from Softbank in Britain’s future; a £500 million expansion and 3,000 jobs from Jaguar Land Rover; a £200 million investment from Honda, £275 million from GlaxoSmithKline; investment in a new headquarters from Apple; an estimated £1 billion investment and 3,000 new jobs from Google; and this morning Facebook have announced a 50% increase in their workforce in the UK by the end of 2017.” [...]
“We will commit to substantial real terms increases in government investment in R&D – investing an extra £2 billion a year by the end of this Parliament to help put post-Brexit Britain at the cutting edge of science and tech.” [...]
“And we will also review the support we give innovative firms through the tax system.” [...]
Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with President-elect Donald Trump today to congratulate him on his election victory.
A Downing Street spokesperson said:
The Prime Minister spoke to US President-elect Donald Trump earlier this afternoon to congratulate him on his hard-fought election campaign and victory. The President-elect said he very much looked forward to working with the Prime Minister and congratulated her on her recent appointment.
The Prime Minister and President-elect Trump agreed that the US-UK relationship was very important and very special, and that building on this would be a priority for them both. President-elect Trump set out his close and personal connections with, and warmth for, the UK. He said he was confident that the special relationship would go from strength to strength.
Post Brexit: A Period of Adjustment for the UK
The UK is well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities that leaving the EU creates to shape its economy so that it works for everyone. While it is too early to tell what the economic impact of leaving the EU will be, we recognise there may be some difficult times ahead. But we enter a period of adjustment from a position of economic strength and we have the tools we need to address the challenges ahead. For example, the UK’s corporate tax will be lowered to 17% in 2020, which will benefit over a million companies large and small.
Already, the Bank of England has launched a significant monetary stimulus package, cutting interest rates to their lowest-ever at 0.25% and Treasury is ensuring stability by underwriting all structural and investment fund projects signed before the Autumn Statement on 23 November and EU funded projects, like Horizon 2020, even when projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
Prime Minister Theresa May said during the G20 Summit, “The UK has always been a strong partner for the US and that will remain the case. We have a thriving economic relationship. British businesses export twice as much to the United States as they do to our next largest market, and United States is the largest inward investor in Britain with total American investments providing more than one million jobs. We need to build on that strong foundation as the UK leaves the EU.”
As a sign of the continued strength of the special relationship, we will be opening three new UK government offices in the US to grow our economic partnership between the US and UK. They will be opening this autumn in Raleigh, North Carolina, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and San Diego, California.
An open and fair competition to recruit a new Permanent Secretary to lead the Department for International Trade (DIT) was announced on September 8 by the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. published UK remains number one investment destination in Europe Published 8 September 2016 news story
New FDI figures show the UK had a record number of inward investment projects and created second highest number of jobs ever in 2015 to 2016. 30 August 2016 — News story
Following the creation of the Department for International Trade, the full list of ministerial responsibilities has now been confirmed. 4 August 2016 — Press release
Get live export opportunities and practical support from this new site. The demand is out there - you could be too. 21 July 2016 — Service