Britain’s business groups were as surprised as anyone over Theresa May’s announcement of a snap general election on June 8 and urged the Government to remain focused on supporting the economy.
Dr Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Many business communities will understandably be concerned that attention will inevitably shift from the economy and the intricacies of leaving the EU to a potential election campaign.
“Firms will want to be reassured that the key challenges facing the economy will be front and centre throughout any election period.”
Stephen Martin, director-general of the Institute of Directors, said: “Businesses are having to get used to being buffeted by the changing winds of politics at the moment, and will just have to endure yet another campaign.
“This must be used as a chance to properly debate what leaving the EU means for the long-term future of the UK, including how we continue to bring in the skills employers need.
“While Brexit will inevitably dominate the campaign, there are also much wider questions that need to be addressed on the changing nature of business and work, automation and our ageing society. These can’t be ignored in the run-up to June 8, and the business voice must be heard in this crucial discussion.”
Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “Industry will welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to seek a clear mandate. The last year has been one of considerable uncertainty which, if it had gone on unchecked, would have risked hampering future investment.
“We have significant negotiations to undertake with our partners in the rest of Europe and doing this with a fresh and stable mandate from the country can only provide greater certainty about the future direction of travel for policy and the potential to seek the best deal possible for the UK.”