Dear Members and Friends,
The main event of the week was the launch of the new not-for-profit research initiative we have backed, The British Foreign Policy Group. View their website here. BFPG is a timely new initiative whose purpose is to broaden understanding about the importance of British foreign policy within businesses and communities across the U.K.
Some 80 people from business, government and NGOs attended. We listened to Alexander Downer, the Australian High Commissioner to the U.K. and their longest serving foreign minister and BFPG's head, Tom Cargill, review the timeliness and relevance of BFPG to engaging post-Brexit Britain debate define its role in the world. It was a quietly assured start to something for which we have high hopes and are convinced is of real relevance to our members and stakeholders.
Other events saw Jeremy Lefroy from the Commons select committee on International Development meet a number of BEI members and The D Group CEO Brexit Group, hot on the heels of Tuesday's watershed speech from the PM, meet to review how to best offer cross-sector capacity to HMG to help assess key issues and opportunities in various key geographic markets.
Membership additions for the week saw the international consultancy FTI joining The D Group. We warmly welcome them.
The events programme starts in earnest next week and sees a rapid sequence of important discussions. These include Greg Clark, Sec of State B.E.I.S updating us on the development of this new department and on HMG's industrial strategy, the CEO of HMRC, Jon Thompson, now with his feet well under the table since his very successful time as Perm Sec MoD, discussing with us developments in The Revenue, Peter Lilley MP, a dedicated 'clean' Brexit advocate will reflect on the PM's speech and the next steps and the health minister, Philip Dunne MP will address the difficult challenge of balancing NHS regulation with productivity.
Outside of the events programme it has been a very active week meeting with members, understanding their strategic business developments for the year and agreeing plans of action to help achieve these.
On the staff front we wished goodbye to Account Manager Alice Hughes who is bound for Capita plc. Best of luck to her.
Peter O'Kane - Chairman, Strategy International