Past briefings

23 January

Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Chair Treasury Select Committee:
“Focus on the UK's domestic policy agenda”

30 January

Colin Matthews, Non-Executive Chairman, EDF Energy:
“The role of nuclear power generation in meeting UK carbon reduction targets”

6 February

Baroness Vadera, Chair, Santander:
“The economic challenges of technological disruption”

13 February

Lord Kerslake, Chair, UK 2070 Commission:
“Restoring trust in private sector contributions to public sector projects and services”

20 February

Nicola Dandridge CBE, Chief Executive, Office for Students:
“Higher education, the challenge of aligning skills requirements with student aspirations”

21 February

Paul Arkwright CMG, Former High Commissioner to Nigeria and Chief Executive of Africa Investment Summit 2019:
“Nigeria update”

25 February

Natalie Black, HM Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific:
“Progress, UK Trade Relationships in Asia Pacific”

13 March

Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive UKRI:
“The role of research and innovation in supporting growth and productivity”

21 March

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive, UK Export Finance:
“Providing support for future trade deals”

3 April

HE Mr Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the United Nations and other International Organisations, Geneva:
“The future of multilateral organisations and how they might evolve”

10 April

Baroness Harding, Chair, NHS Improvement:
“Private and public sector collaboration in the NHS”

11 April

HE Mrs Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque CMG, UK High Commissioner to Canada:
“Canada update”

1 May

Lord Macpherson of Earls Court, Chairman C. Hoare & Co and former Permanent Secretary HM Treasury:
“The impact of Brexit on UK economic policy”

8 May

John Alty CB, Director General Trade Policy and Graham Zebedee, Director Continuity Wider Negotiations and Development, Department for International Trade:
“Update on Trade Policy”

22 May

Brian McBride, Member of UK Government’s Digital Advisory Board, formerly Chairman ASOS and CEO of Amazon.co.uk:
“Digital disruption, evolve or die”

5 June

Andy Haldane, Chair the Industrial Strategy Council:
“Update on Industrial Strategy”

12 June

Ann Francke, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Management Institute:
“Apprenticeships—their contribution to upskilling and productivity”

19 June

Mark Slaughter, Director General for Investment, Department for International Trade:
“The economy of the future—FDI opportunities for the UK”

26 June

Ann Watson, Chief Executive Officer, SEMTA:
“The challenge of delivering the skills for UK engineering and advanced manufacturing”

2 July

Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham and the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson in the House of Commons on Treasury and Business Issues:
“The reconfiguration of British politics”

6 September

Richard Burn, HM Trade Commissioner for China:
“China Trade Update”

25 September

Sir Philip Hampton, Chair the Hampton-Alexander Review of FTSE Women Leaders:
“The changing picture of women in business”

2 October

Professor Ian Chapman, CEO, UK Atomic Energy Authority and Head of CCFE:
“Fusion’s contribution to energy transition”

10 October

Emma Wade-Smith OBE, HM Trade Commissioner for Africa:
“The UK and Africa: achieving our commercial potential”

16 October

Alex Ellis CMG, Director General, Department for Exiting the European Union:
“The UK’s future relationships with Continental Europe and the EU”

29 October

Lord Darroch, former UK Ambassador to the USA:
“USA update”

30 October

Lawrence Slade FEI, Chief Executive, Energy UK:
“Carbon reduction commitments—meeting customer demand with the implementation of technological solutions”

6 November

The Hon Sir Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee:
“Improving the financing and oversight of public sector outsourcing and contracting”

19 November

Rt Hon Lord Robertson KT GCMG Hon FRSE PC, former Secretary General of NATO:
“The role and future direction of NATO”

22 November

Dr Pippa Malmgren, policy analyst and co-founder, H Robotics:
“Surveillance capitalism and the economy of tomorrow”

I attend the Briefing Circle because it is an opportunity to meet like-minded senior individuals with very different perspectives. I usually meet someone new and always learn something from our conversation.
Paul Jackson, Chief Executive Engineering UK
The Briefing Circle is an exceptional opportunity to meet and hear from both the interesting and the interested. The dialogues I have been involved in have been high-level and informative.
Simon Walker, Director General Institute of Directors
Many many thanks for inviting me along to the lunch yesterday, it was simply excellent. As always you managed to gather together an impressive group and the discussion was fascinating.
James Sproule, Chief Economist and Director of Policy, Institute of Directors
I find the Briefing Circle lunches immensely useful, primarily because Hugh manages to bring together such an interesting mix of people with different perspectives. This makes for rich, informative and always stimulating discussions. It is a great idea to bring different sectors together in this way.
Nicola Dandridge CBE, Chief Executive Universities UK
In my second career I find myself invited to any number of briefings, discussions and general stuff. About the only one that I regularly turn up to is the Briefing Circle run by Hugh Merrill. I find the discussion wide ranging, the attendees have acute insight, and I always come away both stimulated and better informed.
Nick Baveystock, Director General and Secretary Institution of Civil Engineers