Long reads etc

We need a new Marshall plan for the post-covid age

I grew up in Milton Keynes in a tough estate where the slums were relocated from East London in the last century. Whilst I cannot with honesty say the town has developed the kind of urban cultural gritty feel of my beloved Shoreditch, it is certainly a place where the kind of innovation we associate with Tech City is thriving. One ingenious and little known fact about MK, as those of us from there fondly call it, is its network of man-made reservoirs - designed to flood during periods of heavy rain, but which double at other times as places ...

A Place Called Home

Recently Radio 4 broadcast a programme in their series “A Place Called Home” featuring Lord Wei visiting the town where he was brought up - Milton Keynes. It reflects upon his childhood and the impact of that on his life in politics. Here is a link to the programme.]]>

Envisage: Changing the way that Britain transitions into later life

Lord Wei recently hosted an event which brought together over 40 HR Directors from some of the UK’s leading organisations whom collectively represented over one million employees in the UK. They were there to join in the conversation of how Britain’s employers can help change the way people transition into later life. Starting with the research report ‘Next Steps: Life transitions and retirement the 21st century’, Lord Wei highlighted the impending challenges facing the ageing population; living longer, seeking to live out fulfilled, active and meaningful lives, possible pressure on state provision, decline of skills in the workplace, real personal struggles facing individuals ...

Implications of Brexit for the UK’s trade in non-financial services with the EU

The EU Internal Market Sub-Committee, of which Lord Wei is a member, today published a report on 'Brexit: trade in nonfinancial services'. The report considers the potential impact of Brexit on trade in five services sectors: professional business services, digital services, creative services, air services, and, tourism, education and health-related travel services. The UK is the second largest exporter of services in the world. The majority of these services are non-financial, encompassing a broad range of sectors such as ICT (information and communications technology), telecoms, broadcasting, fashion design, aviation, tourism, education, and professional services such as accountancy and law. These ...

Lord Wei speaks on National Citizen Service Bill

Lord Wei today spoke on the 2nd reading of the National Citizen Service Bill. Lord Wei was delighted to see this Bill presented and with the reception it had received so far. He was involved in establishing the Challenge Network charity in 2009 to create one of the original pilots of the National Citizen Service programme. Prior to this, he was involved with colleagues from Shaftesbury Partnership in designing a working prototype to accompany, refine, and road-test the original policy idea which had been proposed by David Cameron (and before him many others from across the political spectrum over the ...

Better protection for users of online platforms urged by Lords Select Committee

Lord Wei is a member of the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee which recently published a report on online platforms and the digital single market. Lord Wei launched the report at a Tech UK startup event in Brussels on April 19th 2016. The EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has been investigating whether large online platforms, such as Google, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb, which act as gateways to some markets, operate above the law. Its report, Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market, sets out its findings which cover regulation, e-commerce, consumer protection, and competition. The report recognises that online platforms have accelerated e-commerce ...

Lord Wei speaks on civilian use of drones

On September 8th, Lord Wei spoke in the House of Lords on the Report of the European Union Committee on Civilian Use of Drones in the EU. He commended the proportionate recommendations put forward and focused his remarks on the challenge highlighted by the report regarding the need to balance and recognise rapid innovation, alongside mitigating risks associated with both commercial and leisure use of drones and the development of a regulatory framework that works and is cost-effective but does not become obsolete before it has been enshrined in legislation and regulation. He felt that a blanket legislative as it ...

EU Sub-Committee takes evidence on roaming charges

The Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, Michael Lillis, Private Secretary to Ed Vaizey, and Rick Holyomes, Department for Culture, Media and Sport appeared as witnesses before the Select Committee on European Union Internal Market Inquiry on Roaming Charges on September 7th 2015. Lord Wei asked about the fairness of disruptive communication services such as Skype and WhatsApp which use telecoms infrastructure but do not contribute towards the maintenance of the infrastructure. Ed Vaizey responded that they have looked at these issues in detail. A lot of these over-the-top providers make their own ...

EU Internal Market Sub-Committee looks at civil use of drones

Lord Wei sits on the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee. At a meeting on 6th July 2015, the Committee looked at the Government response to the Civil Use of Drones in the EU. It made a number of comments: It welcomed the Government’s continuing commitment to actively contribute to the development of harmonised safety rules and light regulation for civil drones across the EU. It asked for more information on making SME participation in EU consultation easier and the governance structure to ensure legislation is drafted in good time. It recommended that national aviation authorities, such as the Civil Aviation Authority ...

James Higa addresses APPGs for East Asian Business and Japan

On January 15th, Lord Wei was delighted to host Mr James Higa who spoke to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for East Asian Business in conjunction with the APPG for Japan. Mr Higa, a second generation Japanese-American, who was born in the US and grew up in Japan and previously reported directly to Steve Jobs in the Office of the CEO, Apple. During his long career at Apple and NeXT that spanned nearly three decades, Mr Higa was instrumental in developing industry firsts. Among his most significant contributions to the global IT industry that we now enjoy include his involvement in the development of major milestones ...