Conservatives win majority in landslide victory

In Britain’s first December general election in almost 100 years, last night saw the political landscape of the UK change significantly. The Conservative Party has formed a majority government with 365 seats in parliament won, giving the Prime Minister a clear mandate to follow through with Brexit and activate their plans for (moderately) higher government borrowing and spending, as well as implementing some positive changes to the UK business environment.

Hopefully this will now reignite business confidence and investment and government can focus on major issues such as; Brexit, Infrastructure, Skills, Business Investment and International Trade, amongst other aspects.

A clear majority government will hopefully provide a clearer path for the UK and local businesses to the future, and politicians can now focus on issues highlighted by organisations across the two counties such as cost, skills shortage, international trade, sustainability, technology and infrastructure.

Sharon Smith, CEO at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, commented: “We look forward to working with the next government and we hope that the end to the uncertainty associated with a general election will reignite business confidence and investment throughout the region. Firing up the economy must now be the Prime Minister and local MPs top priority.

“It is absolutely crucial that politicians now focus on moving pragmatically through EU exit negotiations to avoid a no deal exit. A smooth transition with time to prepare is much needed.

“However, the Chamber is also keen to see government avoiding allowing Brexit to eclipse other pressing issues. The national skills shortage should be top of the agenda, particularly given that 45% of Businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire identified attracting and retaining skilled staff as their top priority for 2020.

“In the wake of the results, I urge businesses to view our International Trade Preparation Essentials Guide to help direct them through the impacts of Brexit. It’s never been more important to get in touch with your network and reach out to other businesses in your sector to share common challenges.

“The purpose of the Chamber rings true today as it did 150 years ago – collectively we are stronger. I’d recommend any business to get in touch if they have any concerns in the upcoming weeks.”