Business groups have responded to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).
The decision will affect many businesses and individuals, as the UK potentially enters a period of economic uncertainty.
Reacting to the result, many business groups have cited the need for prolonged economic stability and security.
Carolyn Fairbairn, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Director General, commented on the consequences of the vote to leave, saying: ‘Many businesses will be concerned and need time to assess the implications. But they are used to dealing with challenge and change and we should be confident they will adapt.
‘The urgent priority now is to reassure the markets. We need strong and calm leadership from the Government, working with the Bank of England, to shore up confidence and stability in the economy.’
Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), also responded, calling for the stabilisation of trading markets: ‘Some businesspeople will be pleased with the result, and others resigned to it. Yet all companies will expect swift, decisive and coordinated action from the Government and the Bank of England to stabilise markets if trading conditions or the availability of capital change dramatically.’
The pound fell to its lowest level since 1985 in the wake of today’s historic result, while the London stock market fell by 8%.
National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, stressed the importance of economic stability for small businesses. He commented: ‘[W]e call on the Government and the Bank of England to urgently put in place measures to prevent any further instability negatively impacting small businesses in the UK. Small firms need to know what this means for access to the single market as soon as possible.’
Meanwhile, Frances O’ Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) outlined the need to ensure that UK jobs are safeguarded, stating: ‘As the UK prepares to leave the EU, the first priority now is to protect jobs and defend the living standards of working people. The Government must urgently set out a plan to defend UK industry and keep British jobs. That means defending the pound and stimulating the economy.’
Following the referendum result, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he will resign from his post with effect from October.