Tag Archives: GB


Press release: Chinese New Year 2017: Theresa May’s message

I want to send my best wishes to everyone in Britain, China and around the world celebrating Chinese New Year.

From the fairs in Beijing, to the fireworks in Hong Kong and the parades here in London, families and communities will come together and look to the year ahead – the Year of the Rooster.

And what a year it is set to be – particularly for the relationship between Britain and China.

Our starting point is stronger than ever before. We had the historic state visit of President Xi just 15 months ago. We receive more Chinese investment than any other major European country. We’ve got around 150,000 Chinese students studying here and the number of Chinese tourists visiting has doubled in 5 years.

Meanwhile, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, our countries are working together on the most pressing global issues.

This year also marks some important anniversaries: 20 years since the handover of Hong Kong to China; and 45 years of ambassadorial relations between our countries.

I want us to take this chance to build on all the ties we share – in business, diplomacy, education, tourism and culture – as we forge a new role for Britain, as the most outward-looking, free-trading nation in the world.

Indeed, I look forward to making another visit to China, following my trip to Hangzhou last year, which was my first visit outside Europe as Prime Minister and my first meeting with President Xi.

And it is an auspicious time. The Rooster – the Fire Rooster – represents so many of the characteristics we need to employ in that endeavour: openness, confidence, hard work and leadership.

These aren’t alien concepts to any of us. Indeed, they are characteristics demonstrated day in, day out by the British Chinese community.

For this is a community that makes an enormous contribution to our society – proving that the strength and success of this country rests on dedication, diversity and a deep spirit of citizenship among our people.

So as the lanterns are lit and the dumplings are served, let me wish you and your family, wherever you are, a very happy and healthy New Year.

Xin Nian Kuai Le.

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Press release: Government minister teaches Yorkshire children the law

Yorkshire schoolchildren will be taught about the law and their basic civil and criminal rights by Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP and a group of law students.

The Year 5 pupils (age 9 and 10) from Adel Primary School will take part in a mock trial of Goldilocks vs the Three Bears at BPP University Law School in Leeds where they will decide if Goldilocks is guilty of breaking and entering, causing criminal damage and stealing the bears’ food.

Aligned to the new National Curriculum, the Streetlaw session explains the criminal trial process through the well-known fairytale, helping children learn about the legal system, courts and the people who appear in them in an interesting and enjoyable way.

The Solicitor General said:

“Teaching children about the law means they have a greater understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities that they can use throughout their lives.

“Such sessions provide an excellent legal foundation together with helping to raise confidence and skills in both the pupils and law students.

“Public legal education not only has a practical and a beneficial effect upon our legal system but on young people’s lives. I’m looking forward to an enjoyable session.”

Emma Blackstone, Pro Bono Manager at BPP University Law School in Leeds said:

“Streetlaw is such a fantastic way to teach young people about the legal issues that relate to them. The Goldilocks workshop is one of our most popular primary school sessions and we have delivered it in schools across Yorkshire.

“At BPP University, we are educating the next generation of lawyers. Taking part in Streetlaw helps our students to develop the key skills they will need in practice.

“The project also develops a sense of social responsibility in our students. We encourage them to use their legal knowledge to improve access to justice for others. This is an ethos they carry with them into their professional careers.”

Streetlaw is a national, public legal education project that is delivered by law students in universities across England and Wales. The students deliver interactive and engaging legal workshops that aim to educate community groups and school children about the law as it relates to them.

The Solicitor General will also meet law students who have been giving free legal advice – with guidance from qualified lawyers – to members of the public at the University’s advice clinic and through the Employment Law Telephone Advice Line.

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News story: £120 million available to support growth in rural areas

New RDPE Growth Programme funding available for projects which create jobs and growth in the rural economy

In a major boost to jobs and growth in rural areas, businesses are being invited to submit expressions of interest for support under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). The RDPE Growth Programme supports projects that invest in building businesses, creating new jobs and growing the economy in rural areas.

£120 million is available through three new national calls for projects. The calls have been developed in collaboration with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and will be open to support food processing, business development and tourism infrastructure projects for an initial period of 12 months.

RPA Rural Development Director Alison Webster said:

This is excellent news for small and micro-businesses, particularly the food and drink and tourism sectors, which play a major role in the economy of rural areas.

We are looking to support high quality, high impact investments and we encourage small rural businesses to grasp this opportunity to think big.

A series of workshops for applicants are being arranged across England that will help familiarise businesses with the calls and provide the opportunity to talk to our Rural Development team and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

After listening to feedback, improvements have been made to make applying for Growth Programme funding easier:

  • Calls will be on a single page on GOV.UK which holds all the information applicants need.
  • The page includes handbooks for each type of call, which include information on what activity is eligible and how to apply.
  • Each handbook also contains a LEP Directory, which lists each LEP area that is participating in the calls. It also gives a brief summary of the local priorities that applicants will need to deliver against.
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Speech: Modernising the UK’s airspace


Good evening.

It’s a pleasure to join you for tonight’s dinner.

It’s also a welcome opportunity for me to talk a little about the progress we’ve made on aviation during my first 6 months as Transport Secretary.

As many of you will know, this is a job that I’ve always wanted to do.

In my first 6 months I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting many people in this room, in what’s been a very exciting time for aviation.

One of my first acts as Secretary of State was to make a long awaited big decision: giving London City Airport the opportunity to expand.

And this is a government prepared to make other big decisions – including the location on aviation expansion in the south east, recommending a third runway at Heathrow.

More on that later.


Because I’d like to start by saying a few words about Brexit.

I understand that you are keen to hear exactly what Brexit will entail for the airline industry.

My priority right now is to secure the right deal for airlines following negotiations with the rest of the EU.

At the same time, I will be working alongside the Prime Minister and my colleagues in the Cabinet to provide as much clarity as possible, as early as possible.

It was in that spirit that Theresa May used her speech last week to make clear our intention to have an open trading relationship with the EU when we leave.

We will be pushing for a new, comprehensive, free trade agreement, giving us the best possible access to the single market.

We also want the best possible access to European aviation markets.

We believe it is in the EU’s interests to seek a liberal arrangement for aviation.

So that airlines can offer connectivity.

And passengers have choice.

Of course, the ultimate outcome for airlines – as for all areas of the economy – will have to await the conclusion of negotiations.

Yet as discussions with the EU proceed, I am confident that we will get what we need.

The fact remains that other countries want to do business with us.

That’s why among the major developed nations we have the world’s best performing economy.

And those nations want to do business with British airlines too.

Far from the gloomy forecasts that some economic commentators made in the summer, Britain ended last year as the strongest of the world’s advanced economies.

Growth didn’t just remain steady in the 6 months after the Brexit vote.

It accelerated.

Business activity hit a 17 month high in December.

Showing that confidence in our economy remains undiminished.

That’s because the June vote wasn’t just a vote to leave the European Union.

It was also a positive expression of our desire as a country to raise our ambitions and look beyond the EU.

To strengthen our position as a global country.

With the global connections and gateways to make that possible.

And that is why we will also look to replace or amend our EU agreements with countries such as the US and Canada.

Aviation industry strength

In this all, the starting position of the aviation industry is one of great strength.

We already have the largest aviation network in Europe.

Direct services to over 370 destinations abroad.

Last year, BA added new routes to San Jose, Lima, Costa Rica, Santiago and Tehran.

Tui added new routes to Colombo in Sri Lanka, and Keflavik in Iceland.

And demand for flights continues to grow.

2015 was a record years for passengers.

And though we’re awaiting the final figures, the signs are that 2016 will break that record once more.

These passengers rely on an airline industry that is so often an exemplar of customer service.

Especially in the face of global events outside our control.

Last week the Foreign Office issued an alert about developments in the Gambia.

Within 72 hours, Thomas Cook had repatriated thousands of British holiday-makers – acting rapidly to do whatever was necessary to secure their safe return home.

With customer service like that, it’s no surprise that the aviation industry is confident about the future.

Over the next 20 years, the industry estimates a doubling of the world’s aircraft fleet.

That’s another 33,000 aircraft – quieter, cleaner, more efficient aircraft that can actually deliver a fall in carbon emissions.

In the summer, Virgin Atlantic made an early contribution toward that global fleet of new aircraft.

With a multi-billion pound order for 12 Airbus A350-1000 planes, powered by cleaner, quieter Rolls Royce engines.

And as the world increasingly embraces aviation in the coming decades, in return, aviation will increasingly drive the globalisation of trade and commerce.

Few other industries can predict future demand with such certainty.

So what we have to do – together – is make sure our aviation industry is ready to play its part in that growth.

A modern industry with 21st century systems and technologies.

An industry with the capacity to grow in a sustainable and responsible way.

An industry that provides British business with a foothold in emerging markets – as well as maintaining links to established markets.

These are our challenges for the future.

So we can prosper in a post-Brexit world.


That’s why in October we gave our backing to a third runway at Heathrow.

It shows that we are open for business, confident about who we are as a country, and ready to trade with the rest of the globe.

An expanded Heathrow will make possible an extra 260,000 aircraft movements a year.

Or 16 million additional long-haul seats by 2040.

And it will allow us to compete against European hubs such as Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.

So we want to get the runway built as fast as possible.

And it will be subject to public consultation very soon.

We expect the National Policy Statement to pass through Parliament and be designated next winter.

Of course, the third runway at Heathrow is not just great news for Heathrow, but also for the rest of UK aviation.

Which is why most regional airports and airlines supported the decision.

But we’ve said that the runway must be delivered without hitting passengers in the pocket.

The Airports Commission is clear that this is achievable, as is the Civil Aviation Authority.

We’re not interested in expansion at any cost, but expansion at the right price.

So I expect the industry to work together to drive down costs for the benefit of passengers.

And the CAA is ready to ensure that new capacity fosters competition, keeping landing charges close to current levels.

I have full confidence in their ability to do so.

And at the same time, I expect the industry to commit to a world-class package of environmental and community mitigation measures for those living near the airport.

After all, a third runway will be an investment in our country’s future.

It will deliver major economic and strategic benefits to the UK.

New aviation strategy

Yet we’re not going to focus on a third runway at the expense of all the other challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

We are currently working on our new Aviation Strategy.

It’s a long-term framework covering airports, safety, security, competitiveness, consumers, regulation and capacity.

We’re focusing on issues where government can make a difference.

Where we can support the industry.

And we’ll stay clear of issues where we can’t.

It’s part of our plan to build on the momentum of the Heathrow decision – so the whole of Britain can benefit from new aviation capacity.


And as the industry grows in the years ahead, we must make the best use of the assets available to us.

As airlines often point out, our airspace is one such asset: a critical piece of national infrastructure.

But like much of the rest of our infrastructure, it is increasingly congested and modernisation is overdue.

While modern aircraft are fitted with the latest satellite navigation technology, most of our airspace arrangements are half a century old.

I know how frustrated you and your passengers are by the delays this causes.

And I recognise the damage it does to your businesses.

Without action, flight delays will increase enormously in the next few years.

This wouldn’t just be damaging for passengers, but also for the economy and the environment.

That is why I am determined to address this challenge.

We will shortly be launching a consultation on measures to support airspace modernisation.

These measures will provide for the use of modern technology.

To reduce delays, cut noise for local communities, and lower carbon emissions

And speaking of carbon, last week I was pleased to see the release of your strategy, ‘Responding To The Carbon Challenge’.

It’s an important statement of all the industry is doing on carbon reduction.

And an indicator of the complex challenges created by the pace of change.


So together we have a lot of work to do.

Yes, we’re facing a time of adjustment and challenge.

But we’re also facing a time of extraordinary potential for this industry.

A chance for aviation to help make Brexit the success I know it will be, delivering the services and connections that will define our future outside the European Union.

I look forward to working with you to make that happen.

Thank you.

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Press release: Department for International Trade Director of Communications Appointment

Toby Orr is appointed as new Director of Communications for DIT.

As part of the department’s ongoing drive to build capability across all corporate areas, Toby Orr has been appointed as the Director of Communications at the Department for International Trade. This follows an external open competition for the role.

  Toby Orr brings with him extensive experience of delivering communications strategies and programmes across the world. He joins the department from Portland, where he established the company’s international team and led numerous high-profile global campaigns. He will take up the role in April 2017.

  International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

Toby brings a wealth of experience in developing and implementing communication strategies in a global environment. As Director of Communications, he and his team will deliver a key corporate function for the Department for International Trade, communicating the department’s priorities to our target audiences at home and abroad.

Toby Orr said: 

It is an honour to be joining the department at such an important time, working to devise and deliver an ambitious communications strategy to advance the UK’s trade agenda and promote Global Britain. I look forward to working closely with colleagues across the department and Whitehall on this exciting mandate.  

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