With MPs voting on Wednesday afternoon on plans for a general election in June, business leaders have called for rival parties to back a new Industrial Strategy.
CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said: ‘Businesses will be looking to each political party to set out their plans to support economic stability and prosperity over the next Parliament in a way that is fair and sustainable for communities across the UK.
‘Distraction from the urgent priorities of seeking the best EU deal and improving UK productivity must be kept to a minimum.’
She added: ‘Firms will want to hear commitments from all parties to work in close partnership with business and back a new Industrial Strategy to make the UK economy the most competitive in the world by 2030.
‘It is essential to get the UK’s foundations right, from building a skills base for the next generation, to investing in infrastructure, energy and delivering a pro-enterprise tax environment.’
James Thornton, CEO of environmental lawyers ClientEarth, said there was ‘a perfect opportunity for all parties to put the environment and pollution at the heart of this election’.
He said: ‘The current Government has shown signs of dither and delay on everything from climate change to clean air to the natural environment. And there is now a big question mark over the Air Quality Plan which ministers were ordered to produce by the High Court.
‘The Government was ordered to start consulting on their new draft plans by next Monday, 24 April. Given the prime minister’s plans to go to the polls, we need to know what the plan is to ensure that our air will be made safe to breathe.’
The Government’s backing for a new runway at Heathrow is likely to be an election issue in West London, with the Liberal Democrats looking to follow up their success in recapturing the Richmond Park seat.
Former business secretary Sir Vince Cable said he would seek to win back his former seat of Twickenham.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘Brexit. Heathrow. School cuts. Social care. Plenty to campaign on.’