Our response to Theresa May's speech
The CBI responded to the Prime Minister’s speech at the 2018 Conservative Party Conference.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“The Prime Minister’s unambiguous call to back business is welcome. Unity in politics can be matched by unity between government and business. Championing a pro-enterprise economy is the only way to show the world that Britain is a fantastic place to create the products and services that power growth. It’s this approach that will ensure every policy and investment have people’s living standards in their sights.
“This starts with Brexit. A new relationship with Europe based on the Chequers model with frictionless trade has strong business support. The Prime Minister has stood her ground, resisting the fiction that a Canada-style deal works for jobs. Now politicians should support her to get a deal – and the critical withdrawal agreement – over the line.
“Brexit must not suck the oxygen out of domestic policy. Here too there will be support from firms large and small. A renewed approach to housing and education will lift productivity and improve people’s lives.
“But the Government’s proposed new immigration system is a wrong turn. The UK economy needs workers at all skill levels. A one-size-fits-all global system ignores the need for migration to be on the table for trade deals and binds small firms in unmanageable red tape.
“Firms will be optimistic that the Prime Minister wants to embrace a new era of concrete collaboration between enterprise and politics. In this spirit, this cannot be the final word on key policies from immigration, to tax reform and skills. They need to be developed together to ensure the UK grows and everyone feels the benefit.”