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Business groups look to Theresa May for answers

As Theresa May becomes the UK's new prime minister, business groups have called for decisive action on the economy after the Brexit vote as well as clarity on the status of EU nationals in the UK.

The Federation of Small Business (FSB) has called for "immediate action to improve business confidence" and has demanded that non-UK EU nationals, many of whom run small businesses or are employed by SMEs, are allowed to remain in the UK. It is also asking that UK small firms and the self-employed who work in the EU can continue to do so.

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: 

"With Theresa May now confirmed as the next UK prime minster, the Government must act decisively to secure our long-term economic stability after the decision to leave the EU. The new prime minister … must ensure that smaller firms' interests are taken into account - simple access to the single market, the ability to hire the right people, continued EU funding for key schemes and clarity on the future regulatory framework."

After a tumultuous few weeks, Cherry said "Government must get back to business on the many vital issues which had been put on hold during the EU referendum campaign and subsequent fallout. These include key infrastructure projects like airport expansion, HS2, energy security and the Northern Powerhouse as well as delivering on business rates pledges and changing plans for quarterly tax returns."

A statement from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) echoed the FSB's sentiments. It said: "Business people want Westminster to lead by example in the coming weeks. Bold decisions to progress key infrastructure and construction projects, guarantees for EU nationals working in British firms, and a commitment to seek the best possible terms of trade for the future would be an excellent start."

Meanwhile, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has already applauded Theresa May's commitment to improve the governance of big companies. Oliver Parry, the IoD's Head of Corporate Governance, said: 

"How the UK's biggest companies are run is of central importance to the economy. The IoD has long argued that the leaders of large corporations have a responsibility to consider how their actions affect the general reputation of business. Theresa May has suggested some bold solutions, and the details will need to considered carefully, but the IoD agrees it is time to give shareholders more control over executive pay."

Image: smallmanlara on Flickr

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