New PM faces calls for swift action to boost economy

As Boris Johnson, the UK's new prime minister, moved into Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon, he faced a barrage of calls for swift action to boost UK businesses.

Downing Street
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sent him an open letter setting out 15 "urgent, immediate steps that the PM must address to boost business confidence and stimulate the UK economy".

BCC urges Boris Johnson to avoid a disorderly Brexit

Not surprisingly, perhaps, the first demand was a call to "avoid a messy and disorderly" Brexit. Other demands included the delivery of "a light-touch, streamlined immigration system that works for business" and a commitment to major infrastructure projects, including the expansion of runway capacity at Heathrow Airport.Adam Marshall, director-general of the BCC, said: “The need for a new prime minister to get down to business has never been greater. Boris Johnson’s first job upon arrival in Downing Street must be to go beyond warm words and take immediate, tangible steps to boost the confidence of UK businesses and consumers.“He must demonstrate he will go all-out to avoid a messy and disorderly Brexit on October 31, which would be hugely damaging and disruptive for many businesses and communities."Additionally, Dr Marshall said Mr Johnson must act "swiftly and decisively to tackle some of the long-standing domestic issues that have been holding businesses."The women and men who create prosperity and opportunity in our communities need an incoming Prime Minister and government to demonstrate their unequivocal backing for enterprise and growth," he said.

Confederation of British Industry also urges Johnson to focus on the economy

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, told Mr Johnson that British business shared his optimism for the UK, adding: "Let’s work together to get our economy back on track and working for communities everywhere.“Business needs three things in the first 100 days. A Brexit deal that unlocks confidence; clear signals the UK is open for business; and a truly pro-enterprise vision for our country.“On Brexit, the new prime minister must not underestimate the benefits of a good deal. It will unlock new investment and confidence in factories and boardrooms across the country. Business will back you across Europe to help get there.“Early signals back home also matter. From a new immigration system to green-lighting major infrastructure, there is no time to waste.”

techUK: It's vital that a no-deal Brexit is avoided

Julian David, CEO of the lobby group techUK, said Mr Johnson must put all the talent and resources at his disposal to the task of avoiding a no-deal Brexit."This will be vital if we are to succeed in securing many of the opportunities that lie ahead for the UK beyond Brexit," said Mr David.“Digital innovation is driving a fourth industrial revolution that holds huge opportunities for the UK to increase its productivity and create the high-skill, high-wage economy the prime minister aspires to."Technology also holds the key to solving some of the greatest challenges we are facing, from an ageing society to the climate emergency. The new prime minister should put digital at the heart of his government to turbocharge the economy, transform public services and drive sustainability."

TheCityUK reminds Johnson that a no-deal Brexit is the worst of all outcomes

Miles Celic, chief executive of the financial services lobby group, said Mr Johnson was assuming his role at a "pivotal time in our country’s history" and that he must now move swiftly to set out his plans."Ongoing Brexit uncertainty is depressing business activity, but the financial and related professional services industry remains very clear that a no-deal Brexit is still the worst of all outcomes," said Mr Celic.“As a prominent advocate for this industry during his time as Mayor of London, (Mr Johnson) will not need to be reminded of the tremendous value and contribution it makes to the economy and society."As the UK’s largest taxpayer; a major employer of 2.3 million people, two thirds of whom are outside London; and the UK’s largest net exporter with a trade surplus greater than all other UK net exporting industries put together (£75.1bn); our industry will be essential to supporting and delivering prosperity throughout the UK through Brexit and beyond.”

IoD: leads the charge for greater support for Brexit preparation

Edwin Morgan, interim director-general at the Institute of Directors (IoD), commented: “It’s crucial that the incoming administration recognises that this is a daunting time for many firms, and is prepared to back them.“The UK faces long-term skills challenges that have contributed to stalling productivity growth across sectors and regions. Firms are crying out for infrastructure upgrades, while high costs and uncertainty are often stalling their own investment plans."A no-deal Brexit would only add to the uncertainty and distract from these challenges, but avoiding a disorderly exit will enable the country to focus on them and move forward to everyone's benefit. But whatever shape Brexit takes it is businesses that will bear much of the brunt of adapting, so we will continue to lead the charge for greater support for preparation."IoD members are eager to see the country’s new leader channel his energies toward the task of bolstering British enterprise.”Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory