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British Industries

Volume 711: debated on Thursday 31 March 2022

The GREAT campaign, for which the Cabinet Office has responsibility, showcases to the world all four corners of our nation and our thriving industries. Working with other Departments and arm’s length bodies, the GREAT campaign partners with the private sector to promote our industries internationally and encourage trade and investment with the UK. As of last year, GREAT had an average return-on-investment ratio, since its launch in 2011, of more than 15:1 to the UK economy.

Bracknell lies at the heart of the silicon valley of the Thames valley, and we are very proud of our overseas businesses and British firms. Can the Minister confirm what we are doing to make sure that the sanctions against Russia do not negatively impact British businesses?

My hon. Friend is a fantastic champion for businesses in Bracknell, and he makes a very good point. I reassure him and businesses all over the UK that the overall impact on the UK economy of sanctions will be limited. Some firms will be more exposed than others to Russian trade and financial market measures, but we have put in place mitigations to manage the impact on UK businesses and workers. We are also putting in place the appropriate licences to allow certain businesses to keep running and pay staff.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. He will know that many UK companies believe it is difficult to access that help from UK non-governmental organisations. Can he reassure me that he is doing what he can to ensure that embassies, consulates and those bodies are getting the proper resources and are prioritised to help UK businesses win in global markets?

That is absolutely the case, and I know from my previous role at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office that our missions around the world are home to some of our best salespeople. They are absolutely on message when it comes to promoting UK businesses and making sure that we are doing our best to stand up for businesses all around the world. They do a fantastic job, and we have plenty of programmes under way to ensure that that continues to be the case.