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IoD responds to vote for Brexit and PM resignation

24 Jun 2016

Commenting on the result of the EU referendum, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“While this may not have been the result that the majority of our members wanted, Britain has voted to leave the EU, and it is now imperative that our political leaders manage the transition as smoothly as possible. The weeks and months ahead are going to be a nervy time for business leaders, so they have to know that the Government is focussed on maintaining stability while a new relationship with the EU is established.

“British businesses are resilient and, with their characteristic ingenuity, they will weather this storm. It is now beholden on politicians to negotiate a deal with European leaders which preserves the ability of British firms to trade easily with the remaining member states. Even once we have left, the EU will continue to be our biggest trading partner, and the first destination for many companies when they start to export. One thing the Government must do immediately is to guarantee the right to remain of EU citizens currently in the UK. Companies do not want to have to worry about losing valued staff.”

Prime minister to resign

Responding to the statements by the prime minister and the governor of the Bank of England this morning, Walker said:

"It was important that the prime minister outlined his plans quickly. Now that we know that he will be leaving before the Conservative party conference, we look forward to him keeping the ship of government steady while a new leader is found. Business will welcome a pause so that the heat can be taken out of the situation before Article 50 is triggered and the formal process for leaving the EU begins.

“In the short-term, David Cameron has reassured the country that nothing will change for firms employing EU citizens, or for businesses’ trading relationships. For those wishing to replace him, we urge top priority is placed on negotiating a new arrangement that gives UK companies access to the single market, and the much-needed skills of EU workers.

“Governor Carney has done what he can to reassure businesses that the Bank of England will take the measures it thinks necessary to ensure financial stability. Companies will adjust to whatever trading relationship eventually emerges, and will be putting their faith in the Bank and the Treasury to help them ride out the inevitable uncertainty that faces them now.”

Before the referendum, a survey of IoD members revealed that, despite concerns about the effect of Brexit on trade and access to skills, businesses leaders saw potential improvements to employment regulations. Half of directors thought that the UK could be an economic success outside of the EU.

The IoD will be running a snap poll of its members on what the referendum result means for business. The results will be released for publication on Monday morning.

Contact for further comments or to arrange interviews:

Edwin Morgan Head of Media Relations Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED M: 07814 386 243 E: Donjeta Miftari Press Officer Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED M: 07525 886 941 E:
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