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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber congratulates Boris Johnson


East Midland Chamber* has today written to Boris Johnson to congratulate him on his appointment as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.


In the letter, the Chamber urges him to resolve Brexit as quickly as possible so that businesses can move forward, free from the doubt and uncertainty created by repeated delays and constant bickering in Parliament and with the EU.


Scott Knowles, the Chamber’s Chief Executive, said: “It is essential that the Brexit issue is now resolved. Business wants to invest, it wants to plan for three, five and ten years ahead, it wants to know that it will have access to skilled workers, it needs to know what future trading relations will be, both with the EU and the rest of the world, and it needs to know what costs it will face.


“Given a clear direction, business will go back to excelling at what it does best, which is to drive economic growth through the creation of jobs and wealth, something that it has found hard to do while mired in the doubt and uncertainty of Brexit.”


The letter calls for a more business-led focus on domestic issues, as set out in the manifesto the Chamber delivered to Westminster in November with the support of many regional MPs, officials and business leaders.


The manifesto – Delivering a Great Future – sets out four clear goals:

  • Connect Us – make sure we have the infrastructure business needs to succeed
  • Get the Basics Right – give us education reform that aligns to the needs of business, fix the broken business rates system that discourages investment in property, plant and people and encourage more equitable public procurement practices
  • Realise our International Ambitions – minimise tariffs, place business needs at the heart of trade agreements, fund expanded trade missions, remove Air Passenger Duty and maximise the potential of regional airports, and
  • Boost Our Competitiveness – Recognise the importance of diversification and innovation in current funding structures, support supply chains from the bottom up and the top down, increase R&D incentives, provide funding for leadership and management training and align the Shared Prosperity Fund with Industrial Strategy priorities.


Scott said: “Brexit has proved to be major planning challenge for business, but it’s not the only one. There are many domestic issues that need to be delivered and we are calling on Mr Johnson to look at those issues with new eyes and create a domestic environment that shouts to the world that UK plc is most definitely open for business.


“Mr Johnson has a brief window of opportunity to initiate change. Focus solely on Brexit to the detriment of domestic issues and the opportunity will quickly disappear, resulting in years more of the same, which is something we don’t want to see happen.”