This week we were sorry that Ken Clarke MP was unable to join us as planned due to some minor legislative issues requiring his attention in Parliament, namely the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. Despite the best efforts of Ken and a small number of other MPs from all parties the bill passed, meaning that it is now up to the Lords to make their views known; views which will enjoy some considerable, even existentially focussed attention from within government. But as some people have rather mischievously pointed out, what is the point of an unelected second chamber if it can’t subvert the will of the people? Whatever happens, we are confident that Ken will provide some typically forthright and incisive analysis when he does join us for the rescheduled lunch later in March.

An interesting date for the diary should be our next D Contemporary Private View. We have paired up with Art Project Lithuania Now to present a special Collective Exhibition of 10 talented Lithuanian artists.  This showcase of works, curated by Barry Martin and Mara Alves, demonstrates the variety of art from a country not often given a platform in London. Private View is on the 14th March 6:30 - 9pm, rsvp Discover D Contemporary's future exhibitions here.
Engagement with HMG continues at pace within Strategy International, with continued dialogue across a number of departments on key issues relating to members’ interests in both domestic and international opportunities.  I am currently working with Andrew McNaughton, Chair of our Infrastructure Working Group and the PM’s Business Envoy for Infrastructure, on a DIT led initiative designed to explore end to end solutions for major infrastructure initiatives around the world. This is gaining momentum and we will soon be able to share more details with you.

The BEI flagship event of the year, our Awards Dinner is increasingly close. On April 5th, we will announce the winners of our annual competition in the presence of HRH The Duke of Gloucester, our President. Celebrating the successes of our members, who achieve exceptional results in what are often difficult and challenging markets, is a privilege – please do join us. The networking alone is outstanding, with guests, members and government stakeholders from many disciplines and with projects from all around the globe.

Best wishes,


Tracey Smith - Deputy Chair, Strategy International