Old Admiralty Building, Westminster
|7 February 2023
|UK Government Department
|Old Admiralty Building, Admiralty Place, London, SW1A 2DY
|Secretary of State responsible
|This article is part of a series on
|Politics of the United Kingdom
|United Kingdom portal
The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is a department of His Majesty's Government established on 7 February 2023, after a government reshuffle, the first by prime minister Rishi Sunak. The new department absorbed the functions of the former Department for International Trade (DIT) and some of the functions of the former Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The department is headed by the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, assisted by a number of junior ministers. The present incumbent and the first to hold the role is Kemi Badenoch; she is also President of the Board of Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities. Badenoch was previously the final Secretary of State at DIT.
The department was established on 7 February 2023. It combines the business-focused responsibilities of the former Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with the former Department for International Trade (DIT). The ministers and senior civil servants from DIT were carried over to continue leading the new department.
The creation of the new department was described by Downing Street as an opportunity to provide "a single, coherent voice for business inside government, focused on growing the economy with better regulation, new trade deals abroad, and a renewed culture of enterprise at home".
The department's focus was outlined by Downing Street as follows:
Since 26 April 2023, the work of the department has been scrutinised by the Business and Trade Select Committee of the House of Commons. This is a renaming of the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, which absorbs the responsibilities of the dissolved International Trade Committee.
The department was responsible for finalising negotiations for the UK's to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in April 2023, a free-trade agreement (FTA) between 11 countries around the Pacific Rim: Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. It successfully concluded an agreement after 2 years of negotiations.
In May 2023, the Minister for Investment, Dominic Johnson became the first UK government minister to visit Hong Kong since 2018, and the first since the imposition of a new national security law by Beijing in the Special Administration Region.
In May 2023, the department announced that it had commenced negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement with Switzerland.
Ministers in the department since November 2023:
|The Rt Hon. Kemi Badenoch MP
|Secretary of State for Business and Trade
President of the Board of Trade
Minister for Women and Equalities
|Overall responsibility for the department. Responsible for leading on departmental strategy and delivering on the department's responsibilities. Also responsible for engaging with business across government, and for making necessary public appointments. The Secretary of State is responsible for leading UK government representation during free trade agreement negotiations, outlining mandates, and making decisions. The Secretary of State also leads UK government representation at meetings of the World Trade Organization, and at ministerial meetings of the G7 and G20 where the Secretary of State is further responsible for developing and maintaining the UK's overseas business network.
As President of the Board of Trade, the Secretary of State is responsible for leading engagement with the whole of the UK on the UK’s global trade and investment agenda. The role is held concurrently with her position as Secretary of State for Business and Trade.
As Minister for Women and Equalities, the Secretary of State also has responsibility for developing an equalities policy that is based on individual autonomy and dignity and for promoting equality of opportunity for everyone.
|Nusrat Ghani MP
|Minister of State for Industry and Economic Security
Minister of State for the Investment Security Unit
|The Minister's portfolio includes responsibility for the following business sectors: advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, steel, materials, maritime and shipbuilding, and professional and business services.
The Minister is further responsible for the following policy areas: sustainability and infrastructure, free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, managing retained EU law (repeal and reform), economic security, trade defence, global supply chains, critical minerals, Ukraine reconstructions, and the UK sanctions regime. The Minister is also responsible for managing the Industrial Development Advisory Board (IDAB).
|The Rt Hon. The Lord Johnson of Lainston
|Minister of State for Investment
Minister of State for Regulatory Reform
|The Minister of State for Investment is responsible for investment strategy, investment promotion across all sectors, investor relationship management, investment events (including the UK Global Investment Summit),investor screening for the Department, and defence and security exports. The Minister is also responsible for the Office for Investment and managing the passage of trade legislation through the House of Lords.
The Minister of State for Regulatory Reform is responsible for cross-government regulatory reform and the creation and implementation of better regulation. The Minister is also responsible for managing the passage of business legislation through the House of Lords and all Private Members' Bills.
|The Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP
|Minister of State for Trade Policy
|The Minister of State for Trade Policy supports the Secretary of State with:
Support on all free trade agreements (FTAs); support on World Trade Organization (WTO), G7, G20, OECD, Commonwealth and wider multilateral engagement; market access strategy; FTA implementation; the Board of Trade; union policy; chairing the XWH Inter-Ministerial Trade Advisory Group (IMTAG); External engagement via the: Strategic Trade Advisory Group, sectoral trade advisory groups, trade union advisory groups, civil society and think tank roundtables.
|The Rt Hon. The Lord Offord of Garvel
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exports
|The Minister is responsible for export strategy implementation and promotion across all sectors, supporting the exports of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Export Support Service, free trade agreement utilisation, outward direct investment delivery and UK Internal Market and the Union.
The Minister is also responsible for UK representation at trade missions and trade shows and the 'Made in the UK, Sold to the World' trade campaign.
|Kevin Hollinrake MP
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business
|The Minister's policy portfolio includes: small business and enterprise, scale up strategy, access to finance, labour market and employment rights (including National Minimum Wage), postal services (including Royal Mail), consumer and competition policy (including subsidy control), mutual recognition of professional qualifications, levelling up and regional growth, and corporate governance and transparency.
The Minister is responsible for the following business sectors: audit and insolvency; hospitality; retail; consumer goods, and personal care.
The Minister is further responsible for the following non-departmental public bodies: the Office for Product Safety and Standards, Post Office Limited, the British Business Bank, the Low Pay Commission, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), the Small Business Commissioner, Companies House, the Competition & Markets Authority, the Competition Service and Competition Appeal Tribunal, The Insolvency Service, the Central Arbitration Committee, the Certification Officer, the Office of Manpower Economics, the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies, the Groceries Code Adjudicator, the Pub Code Adjudicator, the British Hallmarking Council; Financial Reporting Council, and the Regulatory Policy Committee.