Commenting on the General Election, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“During the campaign we called on party leaders to build on the foundations of growth, with continuity and stability in business policy. That is now what we expect the newly-elected Government to deliver. There is a real opportunity to properly rebalance the economy and ensure a strong focus across government on investing in and, building on, our industrial strength as a manufacturing nation.
“There are many issues to tackle for a new business and industry secretary, which is why we need a really big hitter in that role. He or she will have an in-tray which will include the need to tackle some of the issues which will help Britain embed and build on the recovery. These include reversing the trade deficit, tackling an energy policy which remains a mess and redoubling efforts to deal with a creaking infrastructure by getting on with important projects, especially building a new airport hub.
“The biggest threat to our long-term economic well-being, however, remains the prospect of leaving the EU. Mr Cameron will be under pressure to call a referendum as soon as possible, possibly bringing it to next year. The new administration must move quickly and campaign on the back of a strong and positive case for Britain’s continued membership. Any drift or dithering on this issue will mean uncertainty for British businesses, which would be very unhelpful for the long term prospects of the economy.