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Fix the fundamentals

While Brexit is understandably a huge undertaking, many of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the UK economy have little or nothing to do with the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The best Brexit deal imaginable won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if the fundamentals for growth aren’t right here at home. Competitiveness, productivity, skills, and connectivity – all long-standing challenges for the UK – must be improved to enable businesses to drive our success through Brexit and beyond.

The Industrial Strategy White Paper, published by government in late 2017, is a first milestone in a renewed partnership between business and government to deliver growth. But strategy documents mean little without sustained efforts to deliver real-world outcomes that matter.

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Costs

Costs

The cost of doing business in the UK continues to rise, particularly the burden of upfront costs, which firms face before they turn over a single pound, and regardless of the company’s performance or economic conditions.

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People

People

The never-ending changes to training and apprenticeships have undermined business confidence and investment, and the systems need to be stabilised. Fix the apprenticeship levy and funding system that has seen number of apprenticeships starts plummet rather than increase, at precisely the time when labour shortages are at critical levels.

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Physical Infrastructure

Physical Infrastructure

Increase public and private investment to deliver the connectivity that firms need. Repairing local roads, new and improved railway infrastructure, capacity improvements at our airports and new runways will help businesses to reach markets, suppliers and labour markets.

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Digital Infrastructure

Digital Infrastructure

A real plan is required to rid the UK of mobile phone ‘not spots’, particularly along our road and rail corridors, which stop firms transacting business, as well as the poor broadband connections facing too many firms.

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Energy

Energy

Revitalise the energy grid that supplies power to our homes and businesses and exploit the potential for supplying energy from the resources in the UK rather than from abroad.

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BCC: Delivering all of HS2 is vital to unlocking economic growth

Mike Spicer, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, comments on the Lords Economic Affairs Committee report into High Speed 2.

BCC/Totaljobs: No business sector immune from recruitment difficulties

Recruitment intentions were strong in the first quarter of the year but nearly 75% of firms reported a shortage of suitable candidates, according to the landmark publication of the Quarterly Recruitment Outlook released today by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) in partnership with Totaljobs.

BCC: Investment in infrastructure is vital to UK prosperity

Director of Policy Mike Spicer comments on the National Infrastructure Commission's letter to the Chancellor on infrastructure planning and investment.

BCC comments on GDP figures for Q1 2019

Head of Economics Suren Thiru gives his reaction to the news that GDP growth was 0.5% in Q1 2019.