Intelligence Briefing - 24 September 2010

Published: 24/09/2010

Making the manufacturing case to Liberal Democrat Ministers at Conference | EEF seek business continuity safeguards on REACH | EEF leads input into government’s plans for manufacturing | Join us for EEF’s Annual Brussels Delegation | EEF in the news | Week in Review | The week ahead | Join us for EEF’s political party conference programme

Making the manufacturing case to Liberal Democrat Ministers at Conference

EEF’s team was in Liverpool this week, making the case for manufacturing at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference. Discussions were held with senior Lib Dem policy-makers and aides, including Edward Davey MP, the Employment Minister, Danny Alexander MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and a crucial figure in the forthcoming Spending Review. Over the next couple of weeks we will report on our activities at the other Conferences, and places are still available for members to attend the two events outlined below.

For further information contact Steven Coventry, Senior External Affairs Adviser

EEF seek business continuity safeguards on REACH

EEF has written to the Secretaries of State for Environment and Business to highlight the business continuity risks that many manufacturers face as result of the new REACH chemical regulations. The risk arises should chemical substances they use, as part of their process or which are integral to their product, not be registered by the 30 November deadline. We have proposed a 12-month transitional period to protect manufacturer activities and this has received widespread support from a number of European industry groups. The proposal will now provide the focus of discussion at a meeting of the European Commission and industry groups on Monday. As a result of our activities, the UK Government is also likely to take up this issue with the Commission.

For further information contact Kevin Considine, Senior Climate & Environment Policy Adviser

EEF leads input into government’s plans for manufacturing

Senior EEF representatives attended a round-table discussion this week with Business Department officials to discuss the government’s forthcoming Manufacturing Framework. This initiative builds on previous manufacturing strategies and aims to change the profile of and grow manufacturing in the UK as part of a balanced economy.

EEF has been engaged throughout this process. We have urged BIS to ensure that the Framework is: Embedded across all government departments and policy; Complementary to the government's current efforts to remove barriers to private sector growth in areas such as skills, access to finance and regulation. It must also fit with other forthcoming government initiatives, such as the Comprehensive Spending Review, new plans for promoting economic growth at local level and a White Paper on Growth, all likely to be published this Autumn; and seen as the first step in an ongoing process towards re-balancing the economy, rather than approached as a definitive ‘grand’ strategy.

The final framework is expected in November and we shall keep members up-to-date with any developments.

For further information contact Stephen Radley, Director of Policy and External Affairs

Join us for EEF’s Annual Brussels Delegation

Decisions taken by the EU are crucially important for British business. Not only is the EU our largest market, but, according to some estimates, around half of UK law now originates from the EU. It is vital, therefore, that the voice of British business is heard loud and clear in the Brussels institutions. With this in mind, EEF organises an annual delegation for our members to visit Brussels. This year’s event takes place on 26/27 October and there are still places for companies that would be interested in attending. You can find out more and download a registration form here.

For further information contact Steven Coventry, Senior External Affairs Adviser


EEF in the news

Economics news led this week's coverage with our Q3 survey on access to finance featuring in The Independent, BBC and Bloomberg at national level and the Liverpool Daily Post amongst others at regional level. We also responded to the speech by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable MP, where our views were reported in the Daily Telegraph and Guardian. Our Chief Economist Lee Hopley was also interviewed on BBC News on the Credit Survey. Separately, our business advice on Waste and Health & Safety was reported in Process & Control and Works Management whilst our Head of Venues, David Vaughton was featured in the Conference magazine on the back of his appointment as Vice Chair of the Conference Centres of Excellence.


Week in Review


Trends in lending

Official data covering lending by all UK-resident banks and building societies indicated that the stock of lending to businesses contracted by £2.5 billion in July, though the annual rate of contraction eased somewhat. While credit conditions were easing for larger businesses, they remained tight for smaller firms.

The flow of net mortgage lending slowed in July to £0.1 billion but total net lending to consumers turned positive in July following a slight contraction in June.

Public sector finances

In August 2010 Public Sector Net Debt (excluding the impact of financial interventions) was £823.3bn, equivalent to 56% of GDP, up from £667.7bn (48% GDP) in August 2009.

Including financial interventions, Public Sector Net Debt was up to 64% of GDP.

MPC minutes

The Bank of England considers that there are significant risks for inflation to either exceed or fall below target in the medium term. On the upside, the Bank believes the largest risk is that expectations of inflation will creep up as CPI remains above target; on the downside the largest risk was considered to be low levels of demand leading to increased spare capacity in the economy.

The week ahead

Tue 28th: GDP; Balance of Payments; Business Investment (Q2)

Wed 29th: Index of Services; Lending to Individuals; Productivity

Thu 30th: GfK Consumer Confidence


Join us for EEF’s political party conference programme

The autumn Party Conference season is traditionally a good opportunity to meet and influence policy-makers, especially with a new Government. EEF is running the following events, which are open to guests.

‘Developing new talent – how can the UK win the international skills race?’

A policy debate sponsored by BAE Systems and EEF, the manufacturers' organisation

Speakers: Jonathan Guthrie, Enterprise and Midlands Correspondent, the FT (Chair); Conservative Speaker tbc; Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director Programmes & Support, BAE systems; Will Hutton, Executive Vice Chair, The Work Foundation; and Lee Hopley, Chief Economist, EEF

Conservative Party Conference, Tuesday 5 October, 8 - 9.30am. Hall 10a, The ICC, Birmingham (this event is inside the secure zone, therefore a pass is required). Refreshments provided


‘Size Matters? Does the UK Need More, Larger, Manufacturing Companies?’

An Enterprise Forum debate sponsored by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation

With some notable exceptions, manufacturing in the UK is characterised by a lower proportion of large manufacturing companies in comparison to other industrialised nations such as the USA and Germany. This debate asks does this matter and if so what can we do about it?

Speakers: Rt. Hon. David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Innovation; Steve Radley, Director of Policy and External Affairs, EEF; Sir Richard Needham, Deputy Chairman, Dyson Ltd; Jonathan Guthrie, Enterprise and Midlands Correspondent, the FT

Conservative Party Conference, Tuesday 5 October, 12.45 – 2pm. Jubilee Suite, Copthorne Hotel Birmingham (outside the secure zone). Open to the public, refreshments provided


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