BCC: Act decisively to support business ahead of EU negotiations

30th June 2016

Following the Prime Minister’s return from the EU Summit, and a summit of business leaders chaired by Business Secretary Sajid Javid (attended by the British Chambers of Commerce), the BCC has published an open letter to the political leaders of the UK calling for stability, clarity, and action to support business communities and the economy.

Excerpts of the letter are below:

“The electorate of the United Kingdom has made the historic decision to leave the European Union, with significant implications for businesses and for our economy as a whole.

“Whilst the decision taken for the UK to leave the EU is of huge importance, the subsequent political and legislative process must not be allowed to crowd out other priority issues for business and the economy, many of which are wholly domestic in nature. Business cannot afford any period of parliamentary inaction and uncertainty on non-EU-related issues, whether two years or more in length, and we seek urgent reassurance that this will not be the case.

“There is an urgent need for clarity on airport expansion, energy generation, house building, the planned apprenticeship levy, reform of business rates, devolution, and the future of the foundation industries that underpin manufacturing. These and other decisions are urgently required to support firms that are working tirelessly and optimistically to deliver sales, profits, and prosperity despite facing skills gaps, export uncertainty, and a markedly softer economy.

“The business communities we represent are understandably disappointed that Westminster has descended into a deep political post-mortem – rather than work to secure the best possible outcome from the negotiation and transition that lie ahead.

“As you – and your eventual successor – consider these concerns, we propose that the government convene a new, broad-based Business Taskforce on Europe to ensure that business priority issues form a key part of both domestic policy and EU exit negotiations during this critical transition.

“We are keen to ensure that the whole range of business concerns and considerations are taken into account in the negotiation to come.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Adam Marshall

Acting Director General

British Chambers of Commerce”

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