Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy
In accordance with the Inter-Institutional Relations Agreement, I am informing members that I attended the Inter-Ministerial Group for Business and Industry on 17 January.
The meeting was chaired by Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and also attended by Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise at the Scottish Government. The Northern Ireland Executive were represented by a senior official acting as an observer.
At the meeting we discussed the issues currently impacting the respective economies of each nation. We also reviewed the replacement energy support scheme for business, the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS). While I welcomed the universality of the new scheme, which will provide some certainty for businesses, I emphasised that the EBDS could do more to help the public sector and those businesses who supply public sector organisations.
Lord Callanan provided an update on the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill. I raised my concerns about the legislation and, whilst recognising that employment law is a reserved matter, I do not share the UK Government’s analysis of the impact on the devolution settlement. I emphasised Welsh Government’s position that strike action should be always avoided or resolved through constructive negotiation, not legislation.
There followed an update on the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, the associated reforms to Companies House and the implementation of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act. I welcomed the provisions included in the Economic Crime Bill and indicated that a Legislative Consent Memorandum has been laid before the Senedd.
Finally, we spoke about the strategic focus of this IMG. It was agreed that meetings need to focus on shared key policy areas
The next Business and Industry IMG will be held in March, which I will Chair. I will write to the Committee confirming the date once it has been agreed.
A communique regarding this meeting will be published on the UK Government website at: