First meeting of government trade advisory group

STAG Members

Meeting for the first time, the UK’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group will regularly convene to advise the government on the UK’s new independent trade policy as we leave the EU.

This includes advising on new trade agreements with the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as well as potentially joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The group is comprised of 16 representatives from business, trade union and civil society organisations that cover a wide range of interests from all parts of the UK. It will meet at least four times a year and membership will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

This is part of the government’s commitment to an inclusive and transparent trade policy that works for all regions and nations of the UK.

Dr Fox opened today’s meeting. The group is chaired by George Hollingbery, Minister for Trade Policy at the Department for International Trade (DIT) and will nominate a co-chair from the membership in due course.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Dr Fox said:

British businesses create jobs through exports and investment across the UK, so it’s crucial that any future trade deals work for them. That’s why I’m delighted that a range of business and civil society groups will be advising on a new independent trade policy that works for people across the whole of the UK.

As we leave the European Union, we have a golden opportunity to forge closer trading partnerships and negotiating ambitious trade agreements with the USA, Australia and New Zealand is a top priority.

At today’s meeting the group discussed market access and the department’s strategy for engaging with stakeholders on trade policy.

Gary Campkin, Managing Director, External Relations & Strategic Issues, TheCityUK, said;

As the UK looks to expand its global trade and investment relationships, ensuring a clear focus on its economic strengths, such as our world-leading services sector, will be vital. It is crucial that future trade agreements are ambitious and forward looking, including for financial and related professional services, which is the UK’s leading exporting industry.

The next meeting with take place in the autumn.


The Strategic Trade Advisory Group was established in April 2019 following a public expression of interest by government in July 2018. The expression of interest set out the selection procedure and selection criteria against which applications would be assessed including, evidence of relevant experience and expertise.

The group will meet as required but approximately quarterly. DIT will make available the dates and times of the meetings.

Members have been selected to provide a breadth of knowledge and experience across trade policy. Members will serve in a personal capacity to advance the interests of the United Kingdom and will not represent the interests of any specific organisation.

Membership for the period 2019 to 2020 are:

  • Rt Hon George Hollingbery, Minister for Trade Policy, (chair)
  • Professor Holger Breinlich, University of Surrey, (academia)
  • Carolyn Fairbairn, Confederation of British Industry, (business representative organisation)
  • Gary Campkin, City UK, (services, business representative organisation)
  • Dr Scott Steedman CBE, British Standards Institution, (standards)
  • Caroline Normand, Which?, (consumer)
  • Dr Dirk Willem te Velde, Overseas Development Institute, (developmental)
  • Mark Abrams, Trade Finance Global, (new entrant)
  • Michael Gidney, Fair Trade Foundation, (non-government organisations)
  • Nick Coburn CBE, Ulster Carpets, (Northern Ireland business)
  • Denise Valin Alvarez, Burberry, (regional business)
  • Liz Cameron OBE, Scottish Chamber of Commerce, (Scottish business)
  • Sean Ramsden, Ramsden International, (small and medium enterprise)
  • Mike Cherry OBE, Federation of Small Business, (small and medium enterprise, business representative organisation)
  • Sam Lowe, Centre for European Reform, (think tanks)
  • Paul Nowak, Trade Union Congress, (trade unions)
  • Prys Morgan, Kepak Group Limited, (Welsh business)

The group’s purpose is to:

  • Advise on the adequacy and effectiveness of Government mechanisms for stakeholder engagement
  • Advise on the practical implementation of trade agreements and measures
  • Perspectives on the Government’s discharge of its commitment to transparency and inclusivity in trade policy
  • Suggestions to inform the Government’s trade priorities
  • Suggestions to assist the development and delivery of UK trade policy including market access measures.

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