UK-ASEAN Joint declaration

Joint Ministerial Declaration on Future Economic Cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK).

Read more: UK-ASEAN

Policy Exchange speech: Liz Truss sets out Britain’s new trade policy

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss delivers her speech at Policy Exchange, setting out Britain’s new trade policy of moving from ‘defence to offence’.

Read more: Policy Exchange speech

UK Duty Suspensions Application Process – inviting objections

Between 1 June and 31 July 2021, the UK invited those based in the UK and Crown Dependencies to apply for duty suspensions. The window for applications has now closed, but you will have the chance to apply during subsequent application processes from 2022 onwards.

Duty suspensions are temporary reductions in the standard Most Favoured Nation (UK Global Tariff) rate for certain products. They are designed to allow UK and Crown Dependency businesses, and in particular manufacturers, to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

A notice of the applications made has now been published on GOV.UK. You can object to any requests made using the objection form included on the webpage. You can submit an objection until 11.55pm on 24 September 2021.

When completing the form, you should set out the reasons why you wish to object, including by referring to the assessment criteria on GOV.UK where applicable.

If you have any questions about the objections process, please contact:

Plan for Jobs in action: hundreds of thousands of jobs supported in record £650 billion infrastructure investment

A record £650 billion infrastructure investment will support 425,000 jobs a year, according to a new Infrastructure Pipeline launched today (Monday) alongside the Government’s latest Plan for Jobs Progress Update.

  • 425,000 jobs a year to be supported over the next four years in the most ambitious programme of infrastructure investment on record.
  • This comes as the Government publishes its new jobs update which sets out the support provided to millions of people since the pandemic began and how the Plan for Jobs will continue supporting people into work and develop the skills they need to thrive as we emerge from the pandemic.
  • Prime Minister and Chancellor to meet with new apprentices in the Midlands

Read more: Plan for jobs


Road haulier: HGV driver shortage survey

The Department for Transport (DfT) is carrying out this survey to better understand the current situation with HGV driver shortage, which has impacted quite a few sectors including aluminium. This will provide direct evidence to DfT about the issues sectors are encountering and would help develop mitigations.

Closing date is Friday 27th August.

Take part: HGV survey


Flexi-jobs apprenticeship fund

Last week, the government launched the £7m Flexi-jobs apprenticeship fund along with the response to their consultation which closed at the end of May. This is an important part of their wider changes to apprenticeships, making them more flexible in response to the changing world of work.

Flexi-job apprenticeships will help employers overcome structural barriers to making greater use of apprenticeships. They will support businesses in all sectors to make a sustainable investment in the skills they need to grow, and build a diverse talent pipeline for the future.

In sectors where flexible or project-based working are the norm, new flexi-job apprenticeship agencies will bridge the gap to help employers realise the benefits of apprenticeships for their business.

We are inviting sector bodies, groups of employers and other interested organisations to register as Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies, giving them access to the £7m fund to support new agencies with their start-up costs. Prospective agencies need to be able to demonstrate that they understand the skills needs of their sector or region, can work towards financial sustainability in the coming years.

More information on the flexi-job apprenticeship offer and how to make apprenticeships work in your sector:

Numbers on furlough fall to lowest level since start of pandemic

Almost three million people have moved off the furlough scheme since March as the economy began to bounce back and businesses reopened, according to new statistics.

Read more: Furlough numbers

Guidance: Help and support for UK transition

Watch videos, sign up for email alerts and register for free webinars to learn more about UK transition.

Read more: UK transition

The first webinar will be on Completing customs import declarations, register here: Import declarations

Businesses can also sign up for email alerts about live and recorded HMRC webinars, YouTube videos and online guidance here


Transport decarbonisation plan

Plan to decarbonise the entire transport system in the UK.

    • our pathway to net zero transport in the UK
    • the wider benefits net zero transport can deliver
    • the principles that underpin our approach to delivering net zero transport

This plan sets out the government’s commitments and the actions needed to decarbonise the entire transport system in the UK.

It includes:

The plan follows on from Decarbonising transport: setting the challenge, published in March 2020, which laid out the scale of additional reductions needed to deliver transport’s contribution to legally binding carbon budgets and delivering net zero by 2050.

Read more: Transport