A business manifesto

By | Business
Theresa May on economic plans. Credit@CBI via Facebook

With the UK at a crossroads, facing Brexit negotiations and the adoption of new technologies with potential to define prosperity for generations, the Chamber of British Industry (CBI) is calling on the next government – which is scheduled to take shape following the June 8th Parliamentary election – to prioritise stability and a long-term vision for the economy. Across the UK, the CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors and its corporate members together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of private sector-employees. With offices in the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi, the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.

While Brexit may bring along challenges for the British economy, it also presents potential for opportunities by offering a chance to address the UK’s productivity flow and fire-up its capacity to build bridges towards new markets. The time seems right for the UK business to demonstrate its value and responsibility in creating jobs and raising living standards. In Backing Britain’s Prosperity, CBI – the UK’s leading business organisation – asks the next government to reaffirm their pride in UK business and their commitment to working in partnership to manage the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities ahead by increasing the UK’s chances of becoming a more inclusive, innovative and open economy. Together with a strongly pro-enterprise government, the CBI believes the goals of making the UK the most competitive and prosperous economy in the world is within reach.

According to CBI, the UK may achieves these goals by providing as much certainty as possible to support firms in making the investment decisions necessary for the UK’s future prosperity. This means being clear on tax and regulatory stability and firms’ ability to access skills. The capacity of the next government to champion good business and work together on Brexit and an ambitious Industrial Strategy with a sustainable approach to skills, infrastructure, innovation and trade may lead to long-term success. Putting jobs and the UK’s 600billion trade with the EU first every step of the way during the Brexit negotiation and doing everything in the government’s power to increase certainty for firms, may boost the economy’s strength. CBI also encourages the new leadership to recognise the complexities involved and leverage the skills, insight and experience of business to secure the right outcomes on customs, immigration, data and regulation.

The CBI’s manifesto outlines the commitment of business to backing Britain and changing lives for the better in all parts of the UK. It highlights how the new government may harness the power of business to make the biggest possible contribution to building a strong economy. And it shows where structural collaboration may need to be developed and where business may step up and make changes itself. In summary, the CBI is calling on the next government to ensure the UK remains an attractive place to do business by reinforcing certainty through business tax and policy predictability and minimal regulatory change. CBI also advocates for enhancing business competitiveness, including a full review of business rates by the end of the next Parliament and ensuring businesses in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales continue to benefit from an effective UK single market.

Based on data provided by CBI, the UK has one of the best regulated business communities in the world, with a global reputation for its standards of corporate governance. However, this trend may need to evolve to keep pace with higher public expectations and a changing world. The new government is encouraged to work alongside business to enable good practices to be embedded in all parts of the economy, combined with diversity and inclusion. Making a success of Brexit seems to be one step along the road towards creating and acting on an ambitious long-term industrial strategy, which builds the skills and infrastructure the UK may need and the world-class innovation the country seems to be capable of.

How may an efficient collaboration between the UK’s new government and the business community ensure fruitful results?

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