Dale Edwards, Cheif Executive of Somerset Chamber, has composed an opinion piece following the result of the 2017 General Election. Here, Dale outlines his thoughts on recent events, and calls for MP’s and the Government to listen to the voice of the people.
They say a week is a long time in politics, and last week certainly was. Along with many others I suspect, I have been mulling over the events of the last week talking to friends, colleagues and members.
I did not imagine nor did many of the political commentators that we would be in the position of having a hung parliament. Whatever way people voted, one thing is clear in my mind is that we will have a much softer Brexit and the government will have to listen to business more.
In saying that Greg Clarke who has been re-elected as an MP, has kept his position of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has always struck me as a greater listener when I have met him or heard him speak . In fact through Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), the Chamber network has the opportunity of influencing Government opinion via Adam’s weekly briefings with Greg.
On a more local level I have been in communication with all the Somerset re-elected MP’s and will be looking to arrange meetings with all of them in the coming weeks to ensure that the business case is heard. I will also be in London next week with my counterparts at the BCC to discuss the outcomes and implications of the election along with potential opportunities for Somerset.
There have been consequences following the decision to leave the EU including a falling pound, inflationary pressures resulting in higher prices and a squeezing of disposable income. We need to ensure that business and individual confidence is not dented as a result of these consequences and focus on activities to ensure British businesses remain competitive in the global marketplace.