This House believes that government intervenes too much in business. Discuss


Greater clarity has been provided on the issue of whether government intervenes too much in business after a debate involving leading figures from the worlds of business and government.

Deloitte hosted a Debate at the Cambridge Union Society to a packed house of over 300 invited guests from the East Anglian business community.

Speaking for the motion were Baroness Jo Valentine, a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, Rt Hon David Davis MP and local businesswoman, Jan Cavelle.

Baroness Valentine started the debate and, after giving examples of unhelpful intervention she concluded that government needs a clear and just role in its intervention in business but should seek clear boundaries.

The first speaker against the motion was Sir Andrew Cahn, former head of UK Trade & Investment, who gave examples of his work attracting companies to the UK. Also on the opposing side were George Freeman, MP for mid Norfolk and Ken Olisa, an Alumni of Fitzwilliam College and head of Restoration Partners – a boutique technology merchant bank.

Guests were asked to vote on arrival at the Chamber and again on exit. On arrival 227 Ayes were recorded and 77 Noes, confirming the audience supported the motion. On leaving there were 137 Ayes and 167 Noes, resulting in a dramatic turnaround and the defeat of the motion.

After the illustrious panel of speakers had given their views on the subject, the house therefore finally concluded that government does not intervene too much in business.

Andy Swarbrick, partner at Deloitte in Cambridge, said: “This was a really impassioned debate and clearly struck a chord with those who attended. There were some really convincing arguments put forward from both sides.”


The Deloitte Cambridge office comprises 8 Partners and over 250 staff who deliver a full range of professional services to the East Anglian region. As well as focussing on the life sciences and technology sectors for which the region has become so renowned, the office has long standing specialisms in other sectors including the professions, consumer business, food and agribusiness.

Deloitte LLP