Margaret Thatcher Conference on Trade


The Margaret Thatcher Conference on Trade was hosted on Monday 22nd November 2021 at the Guildhall, in partnership with the City of London Corporation, HSBC and The Telegraph.

We were delighted to welcome a host of fantastic speakers including Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Lord Frost, Lord Mandelson, Sir Vince Cable, Ambassador Susan Schwabb, Crawford Falconer and many more. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson also joined us for a private dinner following the conference, where he named the CPS as the ‘pre-eminent centre-right think tank’.

You can catch up on the whole conference here

You can read the transcripts for the keynote speeches here:
Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP 
Rt Hon Lord Frost

The Margaret Thatcher Conference is the Centre for Policy Studies’ flagship annual event. It aims to provide a platform for senior politicians, business representatives and experts to discuss top line, international topics in front of a high level audience.

The trade conference focused on pressing issues in the trade debate, assessed what the 2020s have in store for international trade, and made the case for the benefits of free and open trade.

Questions on the state of the multilateral trade system, Britain’s trade priorities post-Brexit, and the future for trade in services were explored in a series of thought-provoking panels and speeches, featuring high profile figures from government, politics and the media.

The Agenda:

12.30 Introduction

Lord Spencer – Chairman, Centre for Policy Studies

Catherine McGuinness – Chair of the Policy & Resources Committee, City of London Corporation

Ian Stuart – CEO, HSBC UK

12.45 Opening Keynote

The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP – Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade

13.00 Virtual Keynote

Ambassador Alan Wolff – Former Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organisation

13.20 Panel 1 – The Future of the Multilateral Trading System

Lord Mandelson – Former European Trade Commissioner and British First Secretary of State

Crawford Falconer – Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser and Second Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade

Ambassador Susan Schwab – Former United States Trade Representative

Shanker Singham – CEO, Competere, former advisor to UK Trade Secretary of State, and academic fellow at Institute of Economic Affairs

Creon Butler – Research Director, Trade, Investment and New Governance Models, and Director, Global Economy and Finance Programme at Chatham House (Chair)

14.20 Coffee Break

14.40 Panel 2 – A World of Trading Possibilities: CPTPP and beyond

Philip Bouverat – Director, JCB

Anthony Mangnall MP – Member of Parliament for Totnes

Stefanie Beck – Deputy High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom

The Hon George Brandis QC – Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

Lord Strathclyde – Former Leader of the House of Lords and the Conservatives and Board Member, Centre for Policy Studies (Chair)

15.40 Coffee Break

16.00 Virtual Keynote

The Hon Tony Abbott – Former Australian Prime Minister

16.20 Panel 3 – Can We Have Free Trade in Services as Well as Goods?

Catherine McGuinness – Chair of the Policy & Resources Committee, City of London Corporation

Stephen King – Senior Economic Adviser, HSBC

Dr. Rebecca Harding – Trade and Finance Economist and CEO, Coriolis Technologies

Soumaya Keynes – Britain Economics Editor, The Economist

Charlotte Crosswell OBE – Chair and Trustee, Open Banking and Board Member, Centre for Policy Studies (Chair)

17.20 – The Politics of Trade

Lord Hannan – Conservative Party International Ambassador

Sir Vince Cable – Former Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade

Fraser Nelson – Editor, The Spectator (Chair)

18.20 – Closing Keynote

The Rt Hon Lord David Frost – Minister of State, Cabinet Office

The conference will be followed by a dinner which will be addressed by a guest of honour. Attendance at the dinner is included with the business ticket. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or booking a table please email [email protected].

The Margaret Thatcher Conference on Trade is kindly sponsored by: