NFRN Political Engagement

The NFRN Political Engagement Department raises the profile of independent retailers’ concerns among political representatives and civil servants.


What is Political Engagement?

‘Political Engagement’ aims to influence policy makers to maximise the positive impact or mitigate the negative impact that new regulations might have on independent retailers’ businesses. The NFRN Political Engagement Department raises the profile of independent retailers’ concerns among political representatives and civil servants within the Houses of Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We also engage with Local Councils and Police and Crime Commissioners.


What issues are covered?

  • News & Magazines Sector – including wholesaler duopoly issues
  • Retail Crime – from theft to abuse against staff – and the illicit trade market
  • Taxation – such as business rates and Making Tax Digital
  • Age restricted product sales – such as alcohol, tobacco, and possible restrictions on sales of energy drinks
  • Waste, plastic pollution and Deposit Return Schemes
  • Health policies – from the fight against childhood obesity to the sales of energy drinks and the switch from tobacco to vaping products

How does the NFRN engage policy makers?

  1. Enabling the membership to be politically active – MPs are elected to represent the interests of their constituents and therefore prioritise issues brought to their attention by their electorate. The Political Engagement Department identifies and produces material for members to communicate their concerns effectively with their MPs. We support members when they meet their MPs and local Police & Crime Commissioners.
  2. Raising awareness of the NFRN brand among decision makers – The NFRN has an annual engagement strategy that includes attending party conferences; holding parliamentary events (such as parliamentary dinners); engagement with All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs), Committees and forums; and tabling Parliamentary Questions and political debates. The NFRN also provides the secretariat for the APPG on Retail Crime in the Houses of Parliament.
  3. Pre and post legislation consultation with Ministers – NFRN staff and officials meet and consult with Ministers around legislation that impacts the independent retail sector. Pre-meetings aim to formulate regulations in their early stages and post-meetings aim to rectify any issues members are experiencing with regulations that are already in existence.
  4. Media monitoring and commentary – The NFRN monitors the political agenda and prepares statements to present the views of the independent retail sector on particular issues. Commenting on legislation in the media also puts added pressure on MPs to be aware that they will be held accountable on behalf of our membership for the decisions that they take.
  5. Responding to consultations – The government, its devolved assemblies and parliaments, hold consultations on proposed legislation. The NFRN prioritises the most pertinent issues impacting our membership and prepares an official NFRN response as well as a version adapted for the use of members to send on.


Independent Retail Report 2019

During a reception in the House of Commons on 14 May, the NFRN launched its 2019 Independent Retail Report. The report lays bare the challenges facing independent retailers including on issues such as retail crime, business rates and the news supply chain. Download the report

Help and assistance

If you need any help in contacting your MP or political representatives, or have any questions relating to the political aspects of any campaign, please do not hesitate to contact the Political Engagement Department at

Related content