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Help shape new Department for Business and Trade’s remit

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 14 Apr 2023

ICAEW members are urged to express their views on the role of the newly-formed Department for Business and Trade in supporting UK business, following its creation in a major government shake-up earlier this year.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in February that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) would be split into three new departments: the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology; the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero; and the Department for Business and Trade.

The new Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is headed up by Kemi Badenoch MP and brings together the business-focused functions of the former BEIS and the Department for International Trade.

In a statement, the government said the new combined department will support growth by backing British businesses at home and abroad, promoting investment and championing free trade.

The DBT says it is keen to gauge business views on how it can best support business and help make the UK the best place to start, grow and operate a business. It is asking members to contribute their thoughts by filling out a survey, the results of which will be used to shape the department’s remit. The survey is open until 18 April 2023. 

Iain Wright, ICAEW’s Managing Director, Reputation and Influence, says: “In announcing his changes, the Prime Minister stated that the DBT will be a single, coherent voice for business inside government, focused on growing the economy with better regulation, new trade deals abroad and a renewed culture of enterprise at home. As the ‘business voice’ in government, the new department is a key stakeholder for ICAEW and our members. 

“We’d encourage our members to complete DBT’s short survey and share their views on how the new department can best support businesses and boost our economy.” 

DBT is also tasked with taking forward audit and corporate governance reform. Despite pledges to revamp the UK’s audit and corporate reporting regimes to restore trust, progress has stalled and no further announcements have been made since the government published its feedback statement earlier this year.

“Effective corporate reporting and audit is crucial to supporting public and investor confidence in businesses,” Wright adds. “The lack of progress in this area risks stalling much-needed growth and hindering investment when we need to strengthen the competitiveness and attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business.”

The Department for Business and Trade survey will be open to responses until 18 April 2023.

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