The election conversation has to take in more than just Brexit, British Chambers of Commerce warns

Mark Sands
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June. (Source: Getty)

Debates ahead of next month’s snap General Election must take in more than just Brexit, British businesses have warned.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have both talked at length on the UK’s future outside the EU in early speeches.

However, the British Chambers of Commerce is calling on party leaders to think beyond Brexit.

In an election manifesto issued this morning, the BCC has urged all sides to remember issues like business environment, upgrading physical and digital infrastructure across the country, and supporting local growth across the UK.

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BCC director general Adam Marshall said: “While businesses all across the UK want a good Brexit deal, they are very clear that decisions taken here at home matter as much – if not more – to our future growth prospects.

“The best possible Brexit deal won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if firms cannot recruit and train the right people, get decent digital connectivity, or get their goods to their market.

Marshall added: “At this election, business communities want a clear commitment from all parties to create the best possible conditions for growth, in every region and nation of the UK.

“Westminster must stop and reverse the relentless increases in the up-front cost of doing business in Britain, and give firms the confidence to drive investment, job growth and exports through the Brexit transition and beyond.”

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The trade group has released a list of four key demands for the UK’s government after the June election.

These include delivering “frictionless” trade with the EU, and a commitment for no new upfront taxes on firms for the duration of the next Parliament.

In addition, the BCC said there must be a new regional UK funding system with a remit to focus on economic growth, and delivery of investment into infrastructure in roads, rail and the UK’s digital networks.

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