Commenting on the speech by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“Companies will cheer the Prime Minister’s defence of the free market economy and its contribution to jobs and growth but, in doing so, they will want to ensure we preserve this through a close relationship with the EU. It is vital for business that a comprehensive transition agreement is agreed before the end of the year. She must redouble her energies in seeking to achieve a Brexit transition agreement which maintains the status quo in terms of trade if she is to avoid significant boardroom decisions going against UK plc.
“Getting Brexit right is the Prime Minister’s greatest challenge. Business needs certainty and clarity, and just as she says the Government is prepared for any eventuality companies also need to plan for the same. Her biggest priority must be to achieve a comprehensive transition deal that works for industry in the UK and in Europe. Business cannot afford to lose its voice at the negotiating table in Europe.”
On the economy and Industrial Strategy Terry Scuoler added:
“Amid the widespread uncertainty that surrounds our future relationship with the EU, business will welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to a first class technical education system. Beyond this while there was plenty of ambition in her speech around the Industrial Strategy we still haven’t seen enough detail or a comprehensive programme to support it.
“The Government needs to do this to help steady manufacturers’ nerves and reassure companies that, amid all of the Brexit uncertainty, they can have confidence in the Government’s domestic agenda. We need to see a bold, ambitious commitment to deliver the Industrial Strategy at the earliest opportunity, backed by the Chancellor delivering a Budget that has measures to boost investment at its heart.”