Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

General Election 2017: Business reaction

Business leaders from across the UK air their views on the result of the General Election 2017 which is set to end in a hung parliament...

London & the South

FINANCE

Hargreaves Lansdown

'No need for investors to make rash decisions'

Mark Dampier, head of investment research, said: "This is very different to the Brexit vote of last year.

"While the result is a surprise and may lead to another election later this year – market reaction has generally been subdued so far because the Tory government will remain in power but a hard Brexit now looks less likely.

"There will be no dramatic changes in domestic policy immediately as there would have been under Labour had they got in.

"Therefore I see no need to make any rash investment decisions, given the range of possible outcomes over the next few weeks. Investors should sit tight or even buy if the opportunity arises."

RETAIL

JML

'The next government must support retailers'

Ken Daly, CEO of JML said: "Retail is going through a huge period of transition, and the new government must take an active interest in it if it is to come out the other side unscathed.

"There was little mention of the retail sector in any of the major parties’ manifestos, and a hung parliament is now even less likely to have the strength or stability needed to identify and implement policies that will help retail business owners to keep up with emerging trends and continue to grow.

"With a cohesive message unlikely to be coming out of Westminster for the next two years, or until another election is held, the government will need to stand up and listen to the recommendations coming from retail sector representatives if the 4.1 million jobs that the sector provides for UK are to be preserved.

"Key issues such as business rates, minimum wage changes, access to international talent and the preserving of frictionless trade with the EU must be tackled with pragmatism and objectiveness.

"There is a real risk that the divisiveness that has characterised the politics of the last two years will likely spill into the new government, which in turn could seriously hamper any efforts to address the key issues facing the sector.”

MANUFACTURING

EEF

'Manufacturers must stay calm'

Terry Scuoler, chief executive, said: “Business has become used to political uncertainty in recent years, and industry’s ability to stay calm and help keep the British economy moving in the right direction will be critical in the unpredictable days ahead.

"While politicians work out a solution to the leadership of the country, they must put industry first and ensure business receives as much support and backing as possible.

“The Brexit negotiating strategy requires a careful rethink. Industry should be at the table, alongside whatever administration is formed, to help ensure we have the right negotiating position, which is something that's been sadly lacking until now.

“The main parties have championed an industrial strategy for Britain and this must not be a casualty of the political turmoil. It is the best blueprint for business in the current circumstances.”

BUSINESS GROUPS

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

'Businesses will remain resilient and our politcians must do the same'

Maureen Frost, chief executive, said: “More than ever, businesses across Hampshire and the UK want our politicians to maintain the conditions for growth and prosperity.

“That means ensuring a responsible, functioning administration is in place at Westminster as quickly as possible.

“We must avoid political uncertainty seeping into further economic insecurity at a time when most companies are trying to focus on business as usual while already grappling with weak sterling, rising costs and the potential impacts of Brexit.

“Businesses are adept at getting on with the job when important interests are at stake. We expect the same of our politicians.

“We stand ready to work with Westminster to ensure that our members continue to have the confidence to invest, create jobs and grow Hampshire’s economic prospects during this extraordinary period.”

Surrey Chamber of Commerce

'Politicians must follow the lead of our businesspeople'

CEO  Louise Punter said: “After two long years of elections, referenda and wider uncertainty, many businesses were doing their best to ignore the noise of politics – up until today.

“The electorate’s split decision generates further uncertainty for business communities, who are already grappling with currency fluctuations, rising costs, and the potential impacts of Brexit.

“The formation of a workable administration that can give voters and businesses confidence around economic management must be the immediate priority.

“Whilst companies have for many months done their best to screen out political noise in order to focus on their own operations, this result will prove much harder for UK businesses to ignore. The swift formation of a functioning government is essential to business confidence and our wider economic prospects.

“Businesses are adept at forming alliances and coalitions when important interests are at stake. We should expect the same of our politicians."

Dorset Chamber of Commerce

'Businesses in Dorset will continue to grow'

Ian Girling said: “Uncertainty is the enemy of economic growth.

“Even though businesses in Dorset have become used to tumultuous events over the past two years, the election of a hung Parliament will have disappointed many today.

“What businesses in Dorset and further afield need right now is stability, especially on eve of incredibly important Brexit negotiations.

“The swift formation of a functioning administration that gives voters and business confidence around economic management must be the immediate priority.

“Although the new government will be focused on Brexit, we urge it to keep its eye on the ball to ensure our wider economic prospects do not suffer.

“It must also genuinely listen to the concerns and views of business. Members in Dorset, like their counterparts nationwide, have resiliently driven growth over the past two years.

“They will continue to do so as we face potentially testing times in the coming months and years.”