Strategic Trade Advisory Group

The Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG) provides a forum for high-level strategic discussions between government, and stakeholders representing a cross-section of interests from all parts of the UK on trade policy matters.

The Strategic Trade Advisory Group was established in April 2019 following a public expression of interest by government in July 2018. The expression of interest set out the selection procedure and selection criteria against which applications would be assessed including, evidence of relevant experience and expertise.


STAG’s principal purpose is for the government to engage with stakeholders, helping to shape our future trade policy and realise opportunities across all nations and regions of the UK through high level strategic discussion.

Chair and structure

The group is chaired by George Hollingbery, Minister for Trade Policy at the Department for International Trade (DIT). The group will nominate a co-chair from the membership in due course.

Secretariat is provided by DIT.

The group will meet as required but approximately quarterly. DIT will make available the dates and times of the meetings.


STAG is made up of 16 core members.

The membership of the group has been designed to bring together a variety of interests from across the UK including representatives of, academia, business representative organisations, trade unions, consumers, think tanks, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and developmental organisations.

Members have been selected to provide a breadth of knowledge and experience. Membership for the period 2019 to 2020 is:

  • Rt Hon George Hollingbery, Minister for Trade Policy, (chair)
  • Professor Holger Breinlich, University of Surrey, (academia)
  • Carolyn Fairbairn, Confederation of British Industry, (business representative organisation)
  • Gary Campkin, City UK, (services, business representative organisation)
  • Dr Scott Steedman OBE, British Standards Institution, (standards)
  • Caroline Normand, Which?, (consumer)
  • Dr Dirk Willem te Velde, Overseas Development Institute, (developmental)
  • Mark Abrams, Trade Finance Global, (new entrant)
  • Michael Gidney, Fair Trade Foundation, (non-government organisations)
  • Nick Coburn CBE, Ulster Carpets, (Northern Ireland business)
  • Denise Valin Alvarez, Burberry, (regional business)
  • Liz Cameron OBE, Scottish Chamber of Commerce, (Scottish business)
  • Sean Ramsden, Ramsden International, (small and medium enterprise)
  • Mike Cherry OBE, Federation of Small Business, (small and medium enterprise, business representative organisation)
  • Sam Lowe, Centre for European Reform, (think tanks)
  • Paul Nowak, Trade Union Congress, (trade unions)
  • Prys Morgan, Kepak Group Limited, (Welsh business)

Government officials are invited to attend as appropriate to the agenda.

Membership will be reviewed annually.