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Brexit result – What the Chambers of Commerce say

Friday 24th June, 2016

The British Chambers of Commerce and The Somerset Chamber of Commerce have released the following statements in response to the British public voting to leave the EU.

British Chambers of Commerce logo

BCC reaction to EU Referendum result

Dr Adam Marshall, BCC Acting Director General, said:

“In the wake of the electorate’s historic decision to leave the European Union, the immediate priorities for UK business are market stability and political clarity.

Some businesspeople will be pleased with the result, and others resigned to it. Yet all companies will expect swift, decisive, and coordinated action from the government and the Bank of England to stabilise markets if trading conditions or the availability of capital change dramatically.

Firms across the UK want an immediate and unambiguous statement from the Prime Minister on next steps, along with a clear timeline for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Business will also want to see a detailed plan to support the economy during the coming transition period – as confidence, investment, hiring and growth would all be deeply affected by a prolonged period of uncertainty. If ever there were a time to ditch the straight-jacket of fiscal rules for investment in a better business infrastructure, this is it.

Businesses need action to maintain economic stability, a timeline for exit, and answers to their many practical, real-world questions about doing business during and after this historic transition.

Firms want help to get Britain back to business at a time of great uncertainty. The health of the economy must be the number one priority – not the Westminster political post-mortem.”

Somerset Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd Logo

Somerset Chamber calls on Government to focus on business following EU referendum result

Following the announcement that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, the Somerset Chamber is calling on the government to refocus as quickly as possible, for the sake of the country’s businesses and economy.

Dale Edwards, Chief Executive of the Somerset Chamber, said, “The months of campaigning have taken their toll on businesses up and down the country, with strategic and investment decisions put on hold due to the ongoing uncertainty around the EU referendum.

“Now that the British electorate has decided that the United Kingdom should leave the EU, the government must provide a clear plan with timelines for the next steps, starting with clear monetary and fiscal policies to minimise the impact of any short and medium term uncertainty.

“Along with the wider British Chambers network, the Somerset Chamber will be calling for a swift refocus within government to make sure that business is at the heart of what happens next. Whether or not our politicians have the courage to take the big, tough, domestic decisions needed to create a fantastic environment for business is a question I hear again and again from business people across the county. A clear message needs to be communicated by the government that the UK is open for business and it must do whatever it takes to instil confidence, both domestically and internationally.

“Somerset businesses of all sizes and across all sectors will have questions that will need answering – questions about export procedures, the impact on interest rates, implications for workers originating in the EU. All of these, and others, need urgent attention.

“Despite the uncertainty that will continue over the coming months as we clarify exactly what our new position outside the EU looks like, we have confidence in the strength and resilience of the businesses here in Somerset and the South West. It is their efforts now that will help to bring the economy back on track, and the government must do all it can to support them.”

Graham Knight, Chair of the Somerset Chamber, added, “We have had a year of canvassing about the critical issue of the EU referendum and at times you cannot help but think that the machinery of government has ground to a halt, with business suffering as a result. I trust we can now get back to concentrating on creating the right environment for business, and indeed the UK economy, to flourish. This is more important than ever now, given the intrinsic uncertainty that comes with the country’s vote to leave the EU.

“These have been uncertain times and the Chamber movement has been trying to impress on all parties the need to get back to business and previous commitments. The Scottish referendum, the general election and the EU referendum have all been distractions that have taken the political eye off the ball of doing the day-to-day business of government. Whatever your political persuasion, I can but hope that any change of Prime Minister does not lead to the main protagonists again canvassing and lobbying and forgetting what really counts.”

The Somerset Chamber of Commerce is one of only five accredited Chambers in the South West and 52 in the whole of the UK. It works closely with the British Chambers of Commerce to make sure Somerset businesses stay well connected at both a local and national level, and that the voices of the Somerset business community are heard at all levels of government.


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