Business groups call for post EU vote clarity

If we had a pound for every time we heard the old wartime adage: “Keep calm and carry on” since last Thursday’s Brexit vote, we’d all be on our sun loungers in the Maldives by now.

Experts, along with people who have an opinion on pretty much everything, have been hogging the airwaves and social media and it is easy to be bamboozled by the sheer volume of claims, counter claims and statistics.

Business Partnership has collated post June 23 responses from four high profile membership organisations.

Our first commentator is Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, who called for clarity on “what these decisions now mean for business, including how businesses will have access to the single market and the free movement of people and trade”.

Mr Cherry continued: “Nearly a quarter of FSB members export, with the majority exporting to the single market, which means access to 500 million potential consumers, more than 26 million businesses and is worth 11 trillion euros.”

Clarity is also the watchword for Dr Adam Marshall, acting director general of The British Chambers of Commerce.

“The immediate priorities for UK business are market stability and political clarity,” he said.

“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.

“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 straightjacket of fiscal rules for investment in a better business infrastructure, this is it.”

A “nervy time” ahead was predicted by Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors:

“It is imperative that our political leaders manage the transition as smoothly as possible,” said Mr Walker.

“The weeks and months ahead are going to be a nervy time for business leaders, so they have to know that the Government is focused on maintaining stability while a new relationship with the EU is established.

“British businesses are resilient and, with their characteristic ingenuity, they will weather this storm. Even once we have left, the EU will continue to be our biggest trading partner, and the first destination for many companies when they start to export. One thing the Government must do immediately is to guarantee the right to remain of EU citizens currently in the UK. Companies do not want to have to worry about losing valued staff.”

Completing our round up is Pip Wilkins, chief executive of the British Franchise Association, who said: “We want to be clear that for us, and for franchising, it is very much ‘business as usual’.

“We will continue to work closely with the European Franchise Federation and reap the opportunities that it affords to guide and inform on franchising across Europe.”

As the political wrangling rumbles on, Business Partnership’s regional partners will continue to work hard for their clients, whether they are buying or selling a business. Find the partner for your area on our Offices page.