Earlier this week, prime minister Theresa May held an unscheduled speech during which she called for a snap general election. Approved by MPs in the House of Commons, the vote has been scheduled for June 8th.
It will follow a raft of other elections and referendum in recent months - the most significant being when the UK voted to leave the EU last June. So what has the industry response been to this unexpected announcement?
Business and industry organisations will be largely hoping for political parties to set out policies that will promote economic stability and promote the UK’s sustained prosperity.
Carolyn Fairbairn, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director-general, said that there must be a minimal level of distraction from what she called “the urgent priorities of seeking the best EU deal and improving UK productivity”.
She explained that companies will need to be reassured that all parties will be committed to working closely with business to back a new Industrial Strategy in order to make the UK’s economy the most competitive across the globe by 2030.
Ms Fairbairn said: “It is vital that negotiators secure some early wins and all parties should commit to working to ensure businesses can continue to trade easily with our EU neighbours, while seeking new opportunities around the world.”
She added that whoever is responsible for forming the next government should work to develop a partnership between itself and business that can be viewed as the world’s best, basing it on trust and shared interest.
Meanwhile, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), emphasised that the UK’s labour market has held up well in the face of a turbulent year for politics as well as the markets.
Kate Shoesmith, head of policy at the REC, expressed her hope that all parties will go into the election campaign thinking about the value of a strong labour market to the UK economy. She said: “Our industry is worth £35.1 billion to the economy and recruiters transform people's lives every day. That contribution needs to be recognised and supported by whoever forms the next government.”
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has added its voice to the bodies discussing its hopes for the election. It said that the upcoming election will provide a real opportunity for small business issues to be addressed by all parties.
It added that one of its priorities will be to ensure that every political party is not completely focused on Brexit during the campaign. The FSB highlighted that there are a number of domestic issues that the next government must address - naming late payments, tax simplification, investment in local roads and broadband, among others - as elements that the government must take action on at the beginning of its term.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 24th April 2017
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