Snap general election: Business owners react
Prime minister Theresa May surprised everybody by calling a snap general election with a provisional date of June 8 2017, but how is it likely to affect businesses like yours?
Pending a vote in the House of Commons today, which will require a two-thirds majority, the decision will see a scheduled general election for early May 2020 moved forward by nearly three years.
It’s been repeatedly suggested that May intends to capitalise on the Conservative’s strong polling – and gain an even stronger majority.
Here’s what those in the UK business space think about the shock election:
Lee Nazari, CEO & founder of Swoopos:
“It feels like a step back to square one. No one wants to take the responsibility for Brexit, and whilst the UK government argues amongst itself and tries to share the blame by dragging all parties into a coalition (thats what will happen), start-ups and small businesses are left in limbo. Luckily, as an industry and as a sector, we are resilient and it will be business as usual, but the longer this goes on for, the more funding, investments, and consumer confidence is under threat.”
Chris Wood, CEO of Develop Training Limited (DTL):
‘Whatever the outcome of the forthcoming election, it is hoped that the new government will continue to build on the current agenda of promoting training in all forms, in particular apprenticeships, and the ongoing need to attract workers into the UK’s vital utility industries, whether they are young or old, male or female.”
Amelia Bishop, owner of Weenie Business Solutions:
“After several months of deliberating and possibly under pressure, Theresa May has announced that there will be a general election on 8 June.
“So, only a little over seven weeks away, the people of the UK now have a limited time to decide on who they wish to vote for, and with the competition not looking very strong at the moment, it shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve a win for the Conservatives.
“Despite Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stating a snap general election was a ‘huge political miscalculation’ and the first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, stating an early election was ‘not in the national interest’, a win will give Theresa May a clear mandate for planning and delivering Brexit
“No election or referendum is risk free as we know, but let’s hope that there is a minimal risk to the UK with this snap election as the UK doesn’t need any further uncertainty.”
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General:
“Firms will want to hear commitments from all parties to work in close partnership with business and back a new industrial strategy to make the UK economy the most competitive in the world by 2030.
“It is essential to get the UK’s foundations right, from building a skills base for the next generation, to investing in infrastructure, energy and delivering a pro-enterprise tax environment.
“As EU negotiations now get underway, firms are clear about the serious risks of failing to secure a deal and falling into World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. It is vital that negotiators secure some early wins and all parties should commit to working to ensure businesses can continue to trade easily with our EU neighbours, while seeking new opportunities around the world.
“Whoever forms the next government, they should seek to build a partnership between business and government that is the best in the world, based on trust and shared interest.”
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT:
“It is encouraging for EU trade talks that Theresa May emphasised our ‘deep and special partnership’ with the EU. Additionally, we welcome her statement that the UK would be ‘free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world’.”
“Conversely, if the opposition parties unite to form a potential Labour – Liberal – SNP alliance; this would enable the revisiting of the Brexit debate. While a re-run of the entire Referendum is unlikely, there may well be a greater emphasis on a soft Brexit: with compromises on immigration and other issues in order to ensure Britain remains part of the single market. This would eliminate exporters concerns over the impact of potential duties and taxes, not to mention long delays, at EU borders.”
David Nicholson, managing director at Living DNA:
“The prospect of another general election may not be warmly received by many, but it’s necessary in order to make the process of Brexit easier. The UK Referendum showed the world just how divided the UK is currently; this level of divide is never good for business or wider society, and it shows that fundamentally there are bigger problems right now than those which politics and elections can solve.”