SCC to PM: Action must be taken to reinvigorate Scottish & UK economies

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce – which represents 26 chambers of commerce and over 12,000 businesses across Scotland – urges the incoming Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, to address stifled business confidence and investment in the UK business community.

It is essential that a disorderly Brexit is avoided on the 31st October. It is also important that key domestic policy issues are not swept aside in the ongoing political vacuum that has been created by years of confusion over the UK’s role in the world since the vote to leave the European Union took place.

SCC has put forward positive and immediate actions the Prime Minister can take that we believe will unlock investment and fire up the engine room that that drives our economy.

Commenting on the proposals, Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The need for a new Prime Minister to instill some confidence into the business environment could not have come at a more crucial time for the Scottish and UK economy.

“Boris Johnson’s first job upon arrival in Downing Street must be to go beyond fine phrases and take immediate, tangible steps to boost the confidence of UK businesses and consumers.

“He must demonstrate he will do his utmost to avoid a messy and disorderly Brexit on the 31st of October, which would be hugely damaging and disruptive for many businesses and communities. 

“The new Prime Minister must move swiftly and decisively to tackle some of the longstanding domestic issues holding businesses back here at home. 

“These policies can be implemented at speed and would send the strongest possible signals to companies and investors grappling with ongoing uncertainty and change.

“The women and men who create prosperity and opportunity in our communities need a Prime Minister and government willing to demonstrate their unequivocal backing for enterprise and growth.”

THE SCC’S KEY POLICY PRIORITIES

Brexit and trade

• Avoid a messy and disorderly Brexit

• Step up government planning and enable business to plan for all scenarios

• Automatic registration for key trade simplifications

• Ensure continuity of trading conditions with third countries

• Clarify intentions on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – the proposed replacement for EU monies

People

• Deliver a light-touch immigration system that suits regional wage levels and is responsive to Scotland’s lower population growth rate and ensure employers have ongoing access to skills at all levels, with minimal costs, barriers or delays

Infrastructure

• Reaffirm commitment to major projects including the third runway at Heathrow airport

• Commit to a clear UK energy strategy

• Eliminate mobile ‘not spots’ together with industry through a shared rural network, programme of public investment, and planning reform

Business costs and investment

• A one-year moratorium on all policy measures that increase business costs, including no new business taxes or added regulatory burdens.