The government must convince businesses in Bristol that the snap General Election called for by Prime Minister Theresa May today won’t scupper vital talks with the EU over Brexit, the region’s largest business organisation said.
In an immediate response to Mrs May’s announcement this morning that she is seeking a General Election on June 8, James Durie, Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative at Business West, also said that the surprise move added yet more uncertainty for local firms as polling day will be just weeks after the West of England Metro Mayor election.
“Voters in the West of England will be surprised by today’s announcement that a General Election will take place just five weeks after the election of a new City Region Mayor,” he said.
“Wealth creators running businesses and organisations will be concerned that an extra layer and period of uncertainty has been added to an already uncertain outlook.
“In our first quarter survey, South West businesses expressed unease about the Brexit negotiations, calling for greater certainty and stability.
“Given that attention will now shift away to some extent on what Brexit means for business to the General Election, government needs to do all that it can to reassure business that they haven’t taken their eye off the ball in creating conditions that will foster economic growth.
“In the tussle between local, national and indeed global issues it must not be missed that the election of a new City Region Mayor on May 4 is a very significant step, bringing nearly £1bn of new investment and powers which should impact on people’s lives.
“We are encouraging people to engage and get out and vote.”