Election outcome ‘causes uncertainty’

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
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A hung parliament will lead to more uncertainty in the Lancashire business community, leaders said today.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the Preston-based North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Today’s result has achieved the outcome of loading more uncertainty on local firms who are already trying to deal with Brexit scenario’s, currency fluctuations and the mounting upfront costs or running their businesses.

“An absolute priority for the country is to see formation of a stable administration that can give voters and businesses confidence around both economic management and Brexit negotiations.

“The new Government , whatever shape or form that takes, now must pay as much attention to creating a firm foundation for the UK’s future prosperity and competitiveness as it does in its Brexit negotiations. There is no doubt that it must deliver a smooth and comprehensive Brexit deal.

“But the best possible Brexit deal will be of little value if inconsistent economic policies, extensive intervention, immigration restrictions and the mounting upfront costs of running a business stifling business investment and confidence are not dealt with as a priority.”

Ms Murphy added: “For months companies have doing their level best to ignore the anti-business noise generated by politicians in order to focus on their own operations. The new government should swiftly offer an olive branch to business, and work pragmatically with us on both domestic economic policy and the Brexit transition.

“Real and lasting economic success requires partnership with business, not dictation and imposition.

“Starting today, the anti-business tone that characterised the election campaign must be consigned to history, with a more mature and realistic dialogue taking its place. “

Frank McKenna, chief of Downtown in Business Lancashire, said Theresa May was now a “lame duck” Prime Minister.

He said: “She might hold on to the keys of number ten for now; she will keep the badge, but without the power. Her reputation is in tatters.”