'Electioneering must not divert attention from economic concerns' - NEW COMMENT
19th April 2017
Business leaders have today raised more questions about Theresa May's decision to call a General Election.
The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and the CBI are worried that the next seven weeks of electioneering, before polling day on June 8, could distract politicians from economic concerns.
BCC director general Adam Marshall said: "Many business communities will understandably be concerned that attention will inevitably shift from the economy and the intricacies of leaving the EU to a potential election campaign.
"Firms will want to be reassured that the key challenges facing the economy will be front and centre throughout any election period."
CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn said businesses would 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," she said.
"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."
Today, MPs approved the motion to call a General Election by 522 votes to 13.
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Mike Lawrence: We have a government with a very small majority and one of the biggest tasks ever set - BREXIT.
This is not the time for the opposition, whatever their masthead colour, to engage in the silliness of politically correct behaviour and other generally dubious activities.
It gives almost irresistible opportunities for undermining the people at Westminster and the devolved centres, which will benefit no one in the longer term. A good majority will allow all that to be ignored.
A strong party in Downing Street, able to ignore the nonsense rattlings of the rabble, is essential.
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