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Brexit: Committee responds and invites Minister to give evidence

29 June 2016

The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee has invited Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to explain how his Department will change its priorities and work to get the best deal for British businesses in the changed circumstances following the outcome of Thursday's referendum on EU membership.

At its meeting on Tuesday morning, the BIS Committee discussed its future programme and has set out a number of Brexit-related areas where it will focus future work – principally focussing on inward investment, regulation, trade deals and Higher Education.

The Committee has invited the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to appear on Wednesday 20 July in order to explain how his Department is changing its priorities and work to meet the changed circumstances and new demands of the next few months and years. 

The Committee will want to explore the impact of the EU withdrawal process on policy across the Department and to test its capacity to handle the new demands, including whether planned restructuring under the BIS2020 plan is sensible.

Chair's comment

Chair of the BIS Committee, Iain Wright MP, said:

"Britain's path in the world has changed dramatically following Thursday's vote. We need to turn this into an opportunity for businesses, workers and consumers in this country. Whatever the immediate impact on the economy, the Government now needs to develop a unique offering for businesses and protections for both workers and consumers. What should this look like? What opportunities are there to protect and, over time, enhance our competitiveness and economic prospects? This should be our focus for the immediate future and as a Committee we want to work with the Government to map out the new environment for British business."

Future programme

Looking ahead, the Committee agreed to focus on the following new areas, arising directly from the referendum decision last week:  

  • Inward investment: how the Government can support and improve levels of inward investment in an uncertain time?
  • Regulation: how can the Government create a new regulatory environment to enable UK businesses to grow and provide a new deal for workers?
  • Higher Education: how the Government can protect and enhance the leading position of UK universities in the new environment?
  • Trade deals: what will be the basis of the trade deals sought with the EU and globally; what should be the priorities, benefits and costs; has the Government got the necessary capacity to negotiate?

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