Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 October 2019

Business leaders call on next British prime minister to recover country’s reputation

Largest group of employers urge next leader to take a ‘pro business’ approach in governance

British businesses are worried about the impact of Britain leaving the European Union after over 40 years of membership. Reuters
British businesses are worried about the impact of Britain leaving the European Union after over 40 years of membership. Reuters

Britain’s business leaders have asked the next prime minister to restore business confidence and repair the country’s reputation.

In a manifesto published on Monday by the UK’s largest group of employers, the influential CBI urged the next premier to “build a long-term vision that drives in investment and back business as a foundation of a growing, inclusive economy".

“The UK is a fantastic place to do business but we must be honest, the reputation of our country has taken a dent in recent times. Our new prime minister has a real chance to inject a new lease of life into the UK economy and show the world we are open for investment,” said CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn.

She urged the UK's next leader to “get the economy back on track”.

Britain’s business leaders fear the impact of a no-deal Brexit that looks increasingly likely under a Boris Johnson premiership.

The result between Mr Johnson and his rival Jeremy Hunt will be announced on Tuesday.

Business leaders fear Mr Johnson has ignored concerns over the consequences of a no-deal Brexit on both British and EU industry.

Ms Fairbairn called on the next PM, who will be the third British leader in three years, to be “indisputably pro-business” and deliver a “long-term, compelling vision for our future”.

The CBI, a membership organisation of 190,000 British companies, backed the UK to remain in the European Union and fears a severe skills shortage in the UK in the event of the country exiting with no agreement on October 31.

They also urged the UK government in replacing the £30,000 salary threshold currently applied to foreigners working in the UK in some sectors.

Senior ministers in the ruling Conservative Party have said they would resign if Mr Johnson takes the helm.

“I’m sure I’m not going to be sacked because I’m going to resign before we get to that point,” Chancellor Philip Hammond told the BBC.

Sterling hit a two-year low last Tuesday after leadership favourite Mr Johnson ratcheted support for a no-deal Brexit and advocated binning the so-called Northern Irish backstop plan agreed under the UK’s current withdrawal terms with the EU.

Updated: July 22, 2019 07:23 PM

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