Business reaction to the General Election result

By Anita Jaynes on 13 December, 2019

The UK’s leading business organisations give their reaction to the General Election Result.

Business West 

Phil Smith, Managing Director, Business West

Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, the South West’s largest business organisation which also runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, said, “The general election result will give us a majority government for 4 or 5 years – and welcome stability. The rise of Conservatism in the North will mean a very different set of priorities to traditional Conservatism and a greater focus on inclusion and a different economic shape of our country. Sajid Javid’s manifesto pledges will mean a big step up in infrastructure spending nationally, although day to day spending will remain tight. The big question remains as to whether our region gets its fair share, given the creaking state of much of our infrastructure. The precise outcome of Brexit will remain uncertain, but this will not because of UK politics but due to the nature of UK-EU negotiations and what we want our future relationship to look like. We congratulate all our local MPs who have been re-elected and welcome those who take their seats for the first time. We look forward to working with them to ensure that our region’s businesses continue to thrive and contribute to growing prosperity for our people.”

 

 

 

 

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General

Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

“Congratulations to Boris Johnson and the Conservative party. After three years of gridlock, the Prime Minister has a clear mandate to govern. Businesses across the UK urge him to use it to rebuild confidence in our economy and break the cycle of uncertainty.

“Employers share the Prime Minister’s optimism for the UK and are ready to play a leading role. They can bring the innovation, investment and jobs for a new era of inclusive growth. The biggest issues of our times – from tackling climate change to reskilling the workforce for new technologies – can only be delivered through real partnership between government and business.

“The starting point must be rebuilding business confidence, and early reassurance on Brexit will be vital. Firms will continue to do all they can to prepare for Brexit, but will want to know they won’t face another no deal cliff-edge next year. Pro-enterprise policies on immigration, infrastructure, innovation and skills, will help relaunch the UK on the world stage.

“Despite recent challenges, the UK remains a great place to start and build a business. A new contract between enterprise and government can make the UK a global magnet for investment, powering higher productivity and living standards across the UK.”

Across the UK, the CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors. The CBI’s corporate members together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of private sector-employees. With offices in the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi, the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman

“Small business owners will be hoping that today’s clear result helps to bring stability back to the economy.

“After more than three years of Brexit absorbing government bandwidth, the Conservative Party has pledged to tackle the many domestic challenges that have been neglected during that time.

“In the coming days we will see a Queen’s Speech and steps towards leaving the EU next month. Amid this, small businesses the length and breadth of the UK will be looking to the new Government to achieve positive change for small firms in its first 100 days, not least with publication of a pro-business Budget in early February.

“The restoration of small business confidence and trust in politics rests on seeing the Conservatives’ pledges to us swiftly enshrined in a programme for government. It’s now time to turn kind words on bread and butter issues facing the small business community into tangible action.

“This government needs to deliver a business-friendly Brexit. That means one that protects the three t’s: trade, talent and a proper transition. The third of those is absolutely critical. We have to avoid a scenario where we suddenly crash out of the EU with no time for small firms to prepare for what’s coming next.”