Walpole Public Affairs

Walpole represents member interests in Westminster and Brussels ensuring the British luxury sector is recognised, valued and protected both at home and overseas. Walpole acts as a collective voice on the below business-critical areas for members and the wider industry. For more information on any of these issues, please click here.

British luxury sector has grown 49% in four years

The sector is now worth £48 billion to the UK economy, with exports topping £38 billion.



Following the result of the historic EU referendum, Walpole identified five areas of concern for the UK luxury goods sector. A member briefing workshop with expert speakers, followed by a series of roundtables and consultations allowed Walpole to offer and receive a view of the political, business and economic outlook in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. This intelligence then formed the basis of the luxury industry’s manifesto, ‘Thriving after Brexit: The impact of leaving the EU on the UK’s luxury goods sector and policy recommendations’, which was launched in February 2017.

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UK China Visa Alliance

In 2012, Walpole became a founder member of the UK China Visa Alliance (UKCVA); an organisation aimed at reducing the complex and lengthy visa regulations for high-spending Chinese visitors to the UK. The UKCVA’s aim is to identify short-term improvements to the existing Chinese visa system, as well as implement long-term structural changes to ensure more Chinese visitors view the UK as an accessible tourist destination. It has had a number of successes, including the-then Home Secretary Theresa May confirming the government’s support to streamline the application process in 2014.

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Economic Value Report

Walpole’s industry benchmark studies and research provides statistics on the worldwide luxury sectors. The second edition of our Economic Impact Report revealed that the British luxury sector grew by 49% from 2013-2017 and is now worth £48 billion. The report forecasts that the sector could be worth £65 billion by 2024.

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Sunday Trading

In response to the government’s recent Sunday Trading Consultation, Walpole believes that local areas should have the power to extend Sunday trading hours due to the potential economic benefits of attracting additional spend from international visitors and improving the overall customer experience.

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Let Britain Fly

Walpole supports Let Britain Fly, the campaign to expand London’s airport capacity. The issue is well documented: the airports will be over capacity by mid-2020; furthermore, the UK has no direct daily flights to 10 emerging markets – significant, as 20% more trade is done with countries with a direct air link.

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