Commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party conference, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
On the PM’s support for business:
“Business communities across the country have been dismayed by the tone of politics in recent months, and the sidelining of their very real concerns. They will be reassured by the Prime Minister’s firm pledge to back business. However, warm words are not enough, and businesses expect concrete measures in the Budget and beyond to fix the fundamentals here at home, and underpin future competitiveness, productivity, and prosperity.
On the post-Brexit immigration plans:
“Businesses have real concerns about the Prime Minister’s plans for the UK’s future immigration policy. Our firms face record high skills shortages at all levels. Immigration policy cannot be just about the best and brightest – companies must be able to access the skills and talent they require if they are unable to train or hire in the UK.
“There are skills shortages in every sector across the country, and the Prime Minister’s proposed approach risks hurting industries such as care, hospitality, retail, and agriculture. The test of the government’s new immigration rules will be whether they let businesses access skills and talent quickly and easily when companies can demonstrate that they have been unable to hire or train the people they need here in the UK, and to do so without increased red tape and bureaucracy.
“Firms will judge the Government on the clarity they provide on the real-world questions around Brexit, and whether the UK will avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU. Firms will be relieved that the Prime Minister views no deal as a bad outcome – but clarity and precision is required urgently if businesses and our communities are to thrive in the months and years to come.”