Business leaders demand clarity in wake of vote to leave the European Union

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI.
Photo: Ben Watkins

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI. Photo: Ben Watkins - Credit: Archant

Industry leaders have stepped up their calls for the Government to make sure the economy remains stable in the wake of the EU referendum result.

Dr Adam Marshall, acting director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said businesses wanted a steady stream of communication from ministers and the Bank of England, with stability, clarity and action the “watch-words” for firms.

He said: “So far, the priority for the Chancellor and the Governor has rightly been the question of stability, as markets and firms digest the electorate’s decision.

“However, attention swiftly needs to turn to delivering clarity. While it is prudent for the UK Government to delay firing the starting gun on negotiations with the European Union, firms want a clear timetable, and simultaneous action to support the wider economy.

“The big decisions - on airports, energy generation, HS2, housebuilding and more - need to be followed through. The decision to delay a post-referendum budget must not be a convenient excuse for ministers to duck these important choices.

“Action and momentum over the coming months are vital to stoking the embers of business confidence.”

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, described the referendum result as “explosive”, saying it will define the fortunes of the United Kingdom for generations to come.

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Writing in the Times she said: “The impact cannot be underestimated and will take time to understand.

“Many people, including the UK’s thousands of businesses, are asking what this means for them and the people who depend on them. What we need is a plan.

“The Government must act with urgency to minimise the uncertainties that affect investment decisions and slow job creation.

“The first part of the plan must be to get strong, calm and decisive leadership in place as soon as possible. Never has there been a more important time to put the interests of the country ahead of party politics.

“Businesses welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of a delay in triggering Article 50 to create breathing space, but need rapid clarity on who is making the decisions.”