The British Chambers of Commerce, along with other organisations, attended the Prime Minister’s SME round table to discuss the Industrial Strategy, and the vote to leave the European Union.
BCC President Francis Martin attended on behalf of the Chamber Network, informing the Prime Minister that many businesses remain confident about future success, but are keen for stability for our markets and economy, clarity on the timetable and approach to our future relationship with the EU, and action on many issues requiring urgent decisions to give confidence to invest and grow.
Francis also emphasised the Chamber Network’s role in helping businesses to export, not just in getting goods to markets overseas but also through our Global Business Network, connecting firms with Chambers and opportunities in markets around the world.
Francis said afterwards:
“Our organisation covers businesses of every size, in every part of the country. We have seen first-hand that the ‘business’ view is not monolithic – Many of our members are taking stock and making the best of the decision to leave the EU, seeking the opportunities on offer as well as considering the challenges.
“At the round table today we urged the PM and her new government to focus on the priorities for our member businesses – clarifying the UK’s future trading relationships, the existing EU regulatory framework, and the stability of the pound.”
On Industrial Strategy, Francis Martin added:
“We are supportive of the proposed Industrial Strategy, but it needs to have a broad-based focus that encourages a partnership between business and government, focusing on areas such as the large skills gap in our workforce and infrastructure projects, that benefit every business.
“The government must in particular address the long-standing under-investment in the UK’s infrastructure. This means action on transport, broadband, and energy generation, which is absolutely vital in driving long-term growth.”