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Trade Advisory Groups

Volume 657: debated on Wednesday 3 April 2019

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) has ensured that creating an open and transparent trade policy is at the heart of its mission for an inclusive trade agenda that maximises benefit for the whole of the UK. We recognise that transparency is fundamental to better outcomes.

As part of this approach the Government have created the Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG) to seek informed views on relevant trade policy matters. The group will be composed of 16 core members from business to trade unions, consumer groups to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It will be chaired by the Minister for Trade Policy, alongside a co-chair from the STAG. Membership of the group has been designed to represent a diverse range of interest and expertise from across the UK, allowing the Government to harness advice, insight and evidence from a wide range of experienced voices already actively involved in trade issues.

The full list of seats includes:





Prof. Holger Breinlich

University of Surrey

Business Representative Organisation

Carolyn Fairbairn

Confederation of British Industry

Consumers (Standards)

Dr.Scott Steedman CBE

British Standards Institution


Caroline Normand


Developmental Organisation

Dr. Dirk Willem te Velde

Overseas Development Institute

New Entrant Business

Mark Abrams

Trade Finance Global

Non-governmental Organisations

Michael Gidney

Fair Trade Foundation

Northern Ireland Business

Nick Coburn CBE

Ulster Carpets Group

Regional Business

Denise Valin Alvarez


Scottish Business

Liz Cameron OBE

Scottish Chambers of Commerce


Gary Campkin

City UK

Small and Medium Enterprise

Sean Ramsden

Ramsden International

Small and Medium Enterprise (Business Representative Organisations)

Mike Cherry OBE

Federation of Small Business

Think Tank

Sam Lowe

Centre for European Reform

Trade Unions

Paul Nowak

Trade Union Congress

Welsh Business

Prys Morgan

Kepak Group Limited

Members of the group were recruited through an open call for expressions of interest which ran from 18 July to 17 August 2018 followed by a two stage sift process against the published membership criteria. The selection process followed best practice principles to ensure a fair and transparent approach.

As part of DITs ongoing commitment to transparency on trade issues, we will make dates of meetings, agendas and a summary of discussions publicly available.

The groups will have an advisory function only and will be one part of the wider engagement structure the Government are putting in place to gather insight and intelligence from stakeholders.

Another key component of our engagement infra- structure is cross-government Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs), which are being set up to facilitate expert technical policy exchanges on specific sector and thematic policy areas. Membership of the groups will vary according to the sector or policy area but will comprise relevant experts from the fields of academia, regulation, business and civil society.

We are committed to seeking views from the widest range of stakeholder groups. In addition to the above formal structures we will continue to use a variety of mechanisms and engagement structures to ensure that our trade policy works for the whole of the UK.