24 November 2019
Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
“The Conservatives’ manifesto pledges welcome action on the major issues that can improve living standards and opportunities across the country. Businesses will be heartened by a pro-enterprise vision, while looking for even more ambition on areas such as access to skills, infrastructure and reaching net zero.
“But the inconvenient truth remains: sustainable economic growth will be risked if there is a needless rush for a bare bones Brexit deal that would slow down our domestic progress for a generation.
“The National Skills Fund could make an important contribution to the significant upskilling efforts needed in the coming years. It needs to be delivered in partnership with business and come hand-in-hand with a detailed new immigration system that gives access to the full range of skills and labour the economy needs.
“Significant investment in local infrastructure will drive growth and reduce regional inequalities. To get the UK moving, the next Government must match it with unequivocal backing for key projects like HS2 and Heathrow.
“The manifesto includes a range of practical actions to put the UK on the path to net zero, from electric vehicle charging networks to energy efficiency in homes. It could go further by backing onshore wind and a new financing model for nuclear power.
“On Brexit, firms need the certainty of a closely aligned, frictionless relationship with the EU. The stability provided by transition is a vital first step, but it cannot be a Trojan horse for a bad deal. Supporting growth and funding public spending requires a comprehensive trade agreement for goods and services, and an end to damaging, politically driven cliff edges that have blighted our economy. Whoever is in Government must take the time needed to get this right.”