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General election: business reaction

9th June 2017

Industry groups have reacted to the prospect of a hung parliament following the shock result of the general election, which took place on 8 June 2017.

Prime minister Theresa May has vowed not to resign, despite failing to secure a Conservative majority to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations with the EU. 

Commenting on the possible outcome, Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the electorate’s split decision would generate further uncertainty for businesses who are already dealing with rising costs and the potential impacts of Brexit.

Dr Marshall said:

“Whilst companies have for many months done their best to screen out political noise in order to focus on their own operations, this result will prove much harder for UK businesses to ignore. 

“The swift formation of a functioning government is essential to business confidence and our wider economic prospects.” 

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, has called for a delay in Brexit negotiations – which are due to start later this month.

Cherry said:

“Negotiations should be led by a government and a prime minister that will be in place for the duration, and so we call for a delay to the scheduled start of negotiations rather than a rush to begin in 11 days. 

“The need for a transition period now becomes even stronger, providing the time to get Brexit right.” 

Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors, added that ministers must move on from the campaign and prioritise long-term issues.

Martin added:

“Ministers cannot take their eye off the ball on important long-term issues, such as renewing the UK's infrastructure, making sure our education system keeps up with developing technologies and business models, and our tax system is competitive and reflective of today's economy. “ 

Talk to us about how the election result may impact you and your business.