Norfolk business community sets out priorities for next government ahead of general election

File photo of EU and UK flags. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

File photo of EU and UK flags. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Business lobbying groups in East Anglia have warned the general election must not be all about Brexit as their governing body releases its personal manifesto.

Jonathan Cage, president of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: Paul Harrison

Jonathan Cage, president of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: Paul Harrison - Credit: Archant

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today launched its manifesto, 'Brexit and Beyond', ahead of the snap general election on June 8.

The document calls for the new government, which will be responsible for negotiating the terms of the UK's departure from the European Union, to provide business communities with answers to practical questions about how the process will affect their day-to-day operations, including hiring, customs procedures and regulation.

However, the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce has warned the election cannot be all about Brexit. They caution that action is needed on domestic fronts such as improving the competitiveness of the UK's business environment, upgrading physical and digital infrastructure across the country, and supporting local growth.

The organisation, which is welcoming a new chief executive in early June, said its priorities for the next government would include:

Ensuring growth in the county's economy with a new regional funding system


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Investing in strategic infrastructure schemes like the A47 improvements and a third river crossing at Great Yarmouth

Delivering a 'frictionless' trade agreement with the EU and creating a new immigration system which can respond to skills shortages

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No new 'upfront' taxes for the duration of the next parliament

Improving mobile connectivity and ensuring access to super-fast broadband across the county

Jonathan Cage, president of the Norfolk Chamber, said: 'While businesses all across Norfolk want a good Brexit deal, they are very clear that decisions taken here at home matter as much – if not more – to our future growth prospects.

'The best possible Brexit deal won't be worth the paper it's written on if firms cannot recruit and train the right people, get decent digital connectivity, or get their goods to their market.

'At this election, the Norfolk business community wants a clear commitment from all parties to create the best possible conditions for growth.

'Westminster must stop and reverse the relentless increases in the up-front cost of doing business in Britain, and give local businesses the confidence to drive investment, job growth and exports through the Brexit transition and beyond.'

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