02 May 2017
The British Chambers of Commerce ( BCC) have announced their own election manifesto, which sets out what the top priorities for the new government will be regarding Brexit and the future of the British economy.
The manifesto calls for ‘clear and pragmatic’ answers on how Britain’s exit from the European Union, and associated trade agreements, will affect the day to day running of businesses including hiring, customs procedures and regulation. However the BCC’s ‘Brexit and Beyond’ manifesto also states, very strongly, that Brexit must not overshadow any priorities to encourage business growth across the UK including improving the competitiveness of the UK’s business environment and upgrading physical and digital infrastructure across the country.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “While businesses all across the UK want a good Brexit deal, they are very clear that decisions taken here at home matter as much – if not more – to our future growth prospects. The best possible Brexit deal won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if firms cannot recruit and train the right people, get decent digital connectivity, or get their goods to their market.
“At this election, business communities want a clear commitment from all parties to create the best possible conditions for growth, in every region and nation of the UK. Westminster must stop and reverse the relentless increases in the up-front cost of doing business in Britain, and give firms the confidence to drive investment, job growth and exports through the Brexit transition and beyond.”
In the manifesto, the BCC have detailed a set of five criteria that Chamber business communities will judge the next government against:
Business Environment: Deliver a globally competitive business environment, bearing in mind the need to up skill tomorrow’s workforce and freeze upfront costs to doing business.
Local Growth: Unlock the potential of local business communities. Deliver clarity on future devolution deals – ensuring a strong local business community voice and maintain the place-based focus of the Industrial Strategy to ensure growth across the whole of the UK.
Infrastructure: Revolutionise the UK’s physical and digital infrastructure. Ensure that the whole of the UK has access to super-fast broadband, better mobile connectivity, and delivering investments in the strategic schemes that will unlock the economic potential of the regions and nations.
Trade: Support UK exporters to drive economic growth. Expand trade support programmes, secure continued access to existing Free Trade Agreements, develop trade policy with business, and leverage Chambers of Commerce, which are best placed to provide stable export support in all regions of the UK.
Brexit: Work with businesses to secure the best possible deal with the EU. Protect the status of EU nationals in the UK, develop future customs procedures in partnership with business, create a future UK immigration system that is responsive to economic needs and skills shortages at all levels, and ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Chamber Network’s main priorities for the next UK government are centered around striking a balanced and beneficial Brexit trade deal, whilst keeping a focus on local, regional and national growth through giving businesses communities a stronger voice and promising no new upfront costs to doing business.
To read the full manifesto click here