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Snap General Election

18 April 2017

Industry experts respond to the call for a General Election in June with comments and suggestions on how best to improve UK productivity.

Theresa May (Credit: Shutterstock)

Commenting on the decision by the Prime Minister to call a general election, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said “industry will welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to seek a clear mandate. The last year has been one of considerable uncertainty which, if it had gone on unchecked, would have risked hampering future investment.

“We have significant negotiations to undertake with our partners in the rest of Europe and, doing this with a fresh and stable mandate from the country can only provide greater certainty about the future direction of travel for policy, and the potential to seek the best deal possible for the UK.”

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said “with a snap General Election now called, businesses will be looking to each political party to set out their plans to support economic stability and prosperity over the next Parliament in a way that is fair and sustainable for communities across the UK. Distraction from the urgent priorities of seeking the best EU deal and improving UK productivity must be kept to a minimum.

“Firms will want to hear commitments from all parties to work in close partnership with business and back a new Industrial Strategy to make the UK economy the most competitive in the world by 2030. 

“It is essential to get the UK’s foundations right, from building a skills base for the next generation, to investing in infrastructure, energy and delivering a pro-enterprise tax environment.

“As EU negotiations now get underway, firms are clear about the serious risks of failing to secure a deal and falling into World Trade Organisation rules. 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.

“Whoever forms the next Government, they should seek to build a partnership between business and government that is the best in the world, based on trust and shared interest.”

RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said “political parties should support a vibrant renewable energy sector if they want to be successful in Government: this is a sector which offers regional economic growth, and an affordable, sustainable, domestic energy supply. And we know that renewable energy is massively popular with voters - three-quarters of the public support renewables.

“There is a massive opportunity for an incoming Government to reap the benefits of the renewable energy transition. Our response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy, highlights how our country can benefit from this transition in a global market now worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

“The companies we represent are the innovators and risk takers Britain needs. They are bringing new business models and technologies to market and driving down costs for consumers across the UK. The sector is vibrant and valuable, bringing forward cheap onshore wind, building the largest offshore wind farms in the world, and taking advantage of our world-leading marine renewables resources.

“Renewable energy is a sector in which Britain can lead, and that should be recognised in the General Election campaign”.

We’d like to know your thoughts on how this might affect industry. Send in your comments on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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