Bringing West Berks Businesses Together

July 14, 2014 9:17 PM
L-R: Peter Baldock (Douglas Instruments) with Judith Bunting and Catherine Bearder, MEP.
Judith Bunting with Peter Baldock (Douglas Instruments, East Garston) and Catherine Bearder, MEP

Judith Bunting recently invited leaders of high-tech businesses from across West Berkshire to sit down with Catherine Bearder, MEP to discuss how our local companies, large and small, can build business in the new EU.

The event, What Next for Europe? Building Business in the new EU, was hosted by Helen Lamprell, Corporate & External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK, and took on subjects that ranged from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), to research funding and cross-border regulation.

Explaining the motivation behind setting up the event, Judith said: “When I was directing documentaries at the BBC, I would speak with companies and research groups, all working in the same field, only to find they did not know what each other was doing. I want to make sure this isn’t happening in West Berkshire.”

Judith went on, “If I get to Westminster, I will help all our businesses get the best advice and information on offer about opportunities in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.”

Helen Lamprell, Corporate and External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK, with Sylvia Boschetto, from the IMechE
Helen Lamprell, Corporate and External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK, with Sylvia Boschetto (Hampstead Norreys) of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers

Sylvia Boschetto, who works out of Hampstead Norreys, for the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, was clear that the development of green technology would never have happened so quickly if our companies had not been able to trade so easily with the European market. Jennifer Sumsion, MD of Micronclean, Newbury, and Peter Baldock of Douglas Instruments, in East Garston, both trade extensively with Europe, but both bemoaned the amount of paperwork and labelling that can be involved. Catherine Bearder agreed EU legislation needs to become smarter, simpler and quicker. She also revealed that QR codes are being explored as a way of simplifying labelling for manufacturers, whilst still providing the information required by consumers.

Judith Bunting said: “Trade across Europe is essential for many of our local businesses. Our hi-tech industries, from Vodafone and Quantel, to Stryker and Douglas Instruments, are critical to building a stronger economy. I was delighted to have the opportunity to bring people together to explore the issues and opportunities offered by the EU and how West Berks business can build on what’s available.”

From the Institute of Directors, Allie Renison, Head of European Affairs, reported how the younger generation of their members are increasingly keen on Europe. Paul Morris, from Vodafone, Paul Morris noted that the EU is particularly good at funding scientific research: The UK currently receives more research funding from the EU than any other member state.

West Berks business roundtable discusses how to get the best out of Europe – L-R: Paul Morris, Head of Government Affairs, Vodafone; Peter Baldock, Director, Douglas Instruments; Alexandra Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy, Institute of Directors.


For more photos from the event, go to:

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