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Government must quickly regroup and refocus, says Somerset Chamber

Somerset Chamber has highlighted the need for an urgent refocus on business and the economy following the General Election result, saying there has been “too much talk and not enough action” in recent times.

The election on 8 June resulted in a hung parliament, with the Conservatives being the largest party but unable to secure a majority government.

Chairman Greg Saunders said, “This is the outcome we least wanted or needed, with a hung parliament continuing the uncertainty that this country has faced over recent years. What everyone needs now, particularly the business community, is stability and clarity.

“There are substantial challenges facing the UK, not least the impending Brexit negotiations, and the politicians must quickly provide clarity on their direction and purpose.

“While the immediate attention of the new administration must be on securing the best possible outcome for the country during the Brexit negotiations, there are also significant issues that must be addressed within the UK. The economy needs to move back up the agenda, with improvements to our road, rail and broadband infrastructure – particularly here in Somerset and the South West – being fundamental to future business growth.

“There has been far too much talk and not enough action over recent years. The government must stabilise as quickly as possible and move on from the election, then refocus immediately on the needs of business, our economy and the country as a whole.”

Conservative MPs were re-elected across Somerset. Commenting on the next steps for the Chamber, Chief Executive, Dale Edwards, said, “The Chamber will be reaching out to Somerset’s elected Members of Parliament over the next few days and we look forward to working closely with them for the benefit of our local and regional businesses.

“We will be drawing their attention once again to the Chamber’s recently published manifesto, which outlines the priorities that will support and encourage a strong, vibrant Somerset economy. We will also be arranging meetings with each of them over the coming weeks to discuss the important topics covered within the manifesto and other business critical issues including Brexit and beyond.

“We now need a quick resolution from the political parties to provide much-needed stability, and we need politicians to stop using clichés and focus on supporting the economy to enable business growth.”

Somerset Chamber of Commerce is one of only five accredited Chambers in the South West and 52 in the whole of the UK. It works closely with the British Chambers of Commerce to make sure Somerset businesses stay well connected at both a local and national level, and that the voices of the Somerset business community are heard at all levels of government.

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