Confederation of British Industry
The CBI is a confederation of ~148 trade associations, and is the primary business association in the UK, lobbying on behalf of 190,000 businesses from all sectors. It works with the UK govt, international legislators and policy-makers to pursue corporate interests. The CBI is the UK arm of Business Europe.
Examples of CBI lobbying:
- In fear of a potential Labour govt bringing utilies into govt ownership, the CBI is frantically lobbying, trying to make the case that the private sector makes a huge contribution to infrastructure.ref
- A flexible workforce, including part-time and temporary workers;
- Unsuccessfully fought the EC's Working Time Directive, alongside the UK govt;
- Opposed the DfTI's consultative document proposing greater employee consultation and involvement in company decisions;
- Attacked proposals to charge high-risk companies (such as oil extraction, chemicals) for their inspections;
- In response to the EC's proposed widening of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive, the CBI demanded "a clear justification in terms of environmental need and sound cost / benefit analysis". Firstly, there are many impacts which cannot be quantifies in terms of money; and secondly, requiring an excessively high level of certainty would gut many sound proposals, due to research costs.
- Challenged the international bio-safety (biotechnology safety) protocol to the biodiversity convention, on the grounds that it could discourage R&D, commit countries to over-regulation, and deprive them of discretion, ie.' the ability to play countries off against each other, and invest in whichever has the lowest standards.
- Opposed the carbon tax and emissions restrictions, preferring "voluntary self-regulation by companies";
- Supports privatisation of the nuclear industry;
- Argued that legislation should require contaminated land to be cleaned up only enough for the planned future use; its points were included in the Framework for Contaminated Land and the Environment Bill (7).
- Fighting EC legislation which would empower consumer organisations to file injunctions or seek damages against dangerous companies;
- Opposes Labour's proposed windfall tax on the privatised utilities;
Climate Policy Rating: InfluenceMap B-
Ten years ago, the CBI was in opposition; but it is now broadly supportive, although it strongly advocates Heathrow Airport expansion, which will increase UK GHG emissions. The CBI also advocates for BEIS and OfGem to do more to support 'smart flexible energy systems' to support energy storage and demand side response.ref, p.36, ref
Does not publish a list of its members.
- Jan.22.2019: Companies press Brexit panic button in further blow to Theresa May. P&O Ferries opts for Cypriot flag, Sony confirms HQ move, and Pets at Home stockpiles cat food. James Dyson, the Brexit-backing billionaire, dealt a further blow to the govt by revealing he is shifting his company headquarters to Singapore. Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest person with a £21bn fortune, was reported last year to be planning to leave Britain for Monaco. The CBI said the litany of business announcements should send politicians a clear and simple message: "a March no-deal must be ruled out immediately". Rupert Neate, The Guardian.
- Sept.26.2018: Big business should look in mirror before damning Labour plans. CBI should examine own record and consider why trust in business has fallen so sharply. Where is the aggressive business-led campaign to shame corporate tax avoiders into paying their fair share? Where is the outrage over boardroom pay excesses? Over the debate on the Big Four auditors, the CBI has to say: The audit profession “must continue to evolve” - whatever that means. Nils Pratley, The Guardian.
- May.20.2018: Outgoing CBI boss Paul Drechsler raises stakes over customs union debacle. The outgoing president of the CBI is calling for an end to the “Brexit logjam”, arguing that the current impasse over future customs arrangements is holding back Britain’s economy. Drechsler’s speech is the latest sign that business leaders are growing increasingly frustrated by the cabinet row over what will replace Britain’s membership of the EU’s customs union. Tommy Stubbington, John Collingridge, The Times. See also Tory MPs prepare for snap autumn election as Theresa May hit by Brexit deadlock
- Jan.20.2018: CBI calls for UK to stay in an EU customs union for the long term. Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the CBI employers' organisation, will say on Monday that Britain should stay in a customs union with the EU long after Brexit, even if that meant that the UK could not strike its own trade deals with third countries. Ms Fairbairn’s speech reflects the private thinking of some senior HM Treasury officials who are highly sceptical of the ability of Liam Fox, the trade secretary, to secure deals with countries, including the US, that would offset a potential loss of business with Europe. Ms Fairbairn’s argument is also politically important because it reinforces attempts by Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary, to shift Labour's position towards a possible acceptance of the UK being in a long-term customs union with the EU. George Parker, The Financial Times.
- Jan.23.2018: The CBI received £1million from the EU, - it is not an independent body, it is backing inefficiency, a lack of competitiveness and it wants the UK to stay within the EU. (video), @LeaveMeansLeave, Twitter.
- Nov.03.2015: The CBI receives millions from the EU and public bodies. New research by Vote Leave reveals that the Confederation of British Industry received nearly £1 million from the European Commission between 2009 and 2015 – and that the EU is the CBI’s single largest source of public sector funds, which total more than £7 million. Vote Leave.
- Confederation of British Industry: IM Report. InfluenceMap. Accessed Oct.10.2018.