What should be your top priority when you take over as Prime Minister? Negotiating favourable terms to leave the EU; gaining full, unfettered access to the single market or controlling immigration? Well, new Tory PM, Theresa May, has barely got her feet under the table, yet she’s undoubtedly got a lot on her plate right now.
Many voters who backed Brexit are naturally calling for immediate action to start the process of leaving EU. Yet, despite the calls for action, it seems likely that the government won’t instigate triggering article 50 until the start of 2017 at the earliest. But what about the business community; what does it want? Well, the Federation of Small Businesses has one top priority in mind, and that’s to protect the small business sector.
The FSB’s national chairman, Mike Cherry, is urging the Prime Minister to act ‘decisively’ and quickly so that the long-term stability of the small business sector and the wider economy can be secured following the vote to leave the EU. His calls have received widespread support from accountants and other representative business bodies. Speaking recently about the FSB’s concerns, Mr Cherry said:
“Immediate action is needed to improve small business confidence and allow them to reliably plan ahead for the future” he said.
“The new Prime Minister will decide the UK’s approach to EU negotiations, and she 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,” he added.
The Federation of Small Businesses is also calling for immediate action to be taken to secure the futures of EU nationals currently living in the UK, whether they are small business owners or individuals employed by small businesses. It wants negotiations to begin immediately, not in January, 2017:
“We also call on Theresa May, as the new Prime Minister, to guarantee non-UK EU nationals, many of whom run their own small businesses or are employed by small businesses, to be granted the right to remain in the UK both during the negotiations and thereafter – and to use the negotiations to ensure that UK small firms and the self-employed who work in the EU can continue to do so” Mr Cherry said.
“With business confidence at an all-time low, Government must get back to business on the many vital issues which had been put on hold during the EU referendum campaign and subsequent fall- out.”
“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” he added.