Business leader moves to reassure company bosses in Peterborough after referendum shock

Counting the referendum vote in Peterborough.  EMN-160624-014839009
Counting the referendum vote in Peterborough. EMN-160624-014839009

A senior business leader has reassured company bosses in Peterborough that little is likely to change for two years following last night’s shock EU referendum result.

But Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce chief executive John Bridge has called for a “detailed” plan from government to ensure growth is not stifled during the transition period when the UK will exit the European Union.

Following the referendum result which saw Leave campaigners secure 52 per cent of the vote compared to 48 per cent for the Remain camp, Mr Bridge said that uncertainty in the run-up to the poll had hurt investment.

He said: “In the lead up to the referendum businesses told us very clearly that the uncertainty over the future was directly impacting upon their investment plans which were being intentionally stalled until today’s result.

“The long road of uncertainty ahead is a strong risk to the UK economy and businesses will eagerly await clear guidance from the government over the timetable going forward and a clear strategy to ensure any damage to economic growth caused by delayed investment is not prolonged.

“But let’s put this in perspective. The EU referendum result, in isolation, has no legal impact.

All UK law, including that originating from the EU, remains in place and has the same influence over our lives and businesses as it did yesterday.

“And with David Cameron indicating that he will remain in post until the autumn, there are no immediate plans for article 50 to be invoked and negotiations commenced – a lengthy and complicated process in itself and is unlikely to be completed before 2018 at the earliest.

“A detailed plan is needed to secure confidence, ongoing investment and job creation to ensure economic growth is not stifled during the transition period.

“Clearly many questions will remain unanswered for some time and action will be needed to maintain economic stability, a timeline for exit and establish the parameters for doing business during and after this historic transition.

“If ever there were a time to ditch the straight-jacket of fiscal rules for investment in a better business infrastructure, this is it.

“In the meantime, those same businesses will need to continue to do what they do best – driving growth in their own business, contributing to success in their local and national economies and maintaining the wealth creation that will keep our economy going.”