The British Chambers of Commerce has demanded the Government makes restoring business and investor confidence its top priority after the Conservatives swept to election victory.

Congratulating Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the election win – which now sees five of Cumbria’s six constituencies under Tory control – the organisation’s director general Dr Adam Marshall also demanded that a no-deal Brexit is avoided.

“Restoring business, investor and consumer confidence – and firing up the economy – must now be the Prime Minister’s top priority,” he said.

“Campaign slogans must give way to a renewed focus on the details that matter.

Our business communities need to see swift, decisive action to avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU and to tackle the barriers holding back investment and growth here in the UK.”

The British Chambers of Commerce set out the following priorities for the Government:

  • Avoiding a no-deal exit from the EU and delivering a smooth transition giving firms time to prepare;
  • Acting rapidly to reform business rates and replace them with a fairer system;
  • Pressing ahead with improvements to transport infrastructure including HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and additional capacity at Heathrow;
  • Investing in our skills base and reforming the Apprenticeships Levy so that more small firms can access high-quality training locally, at affordable cost.
  • Delivering a sensible immigration system that gives firms access to essential overseas talent at all levels.

Meanwhile, travel trade association UKinbound, has called on the Government to extend the Brexit transition period beyond December next year to give businesses enough time to prepare.

The body has more than 400 members, many based within Cumbria’s lifeblood tourism economy.

Its chief executive Joss Croft, said: “The industry contributed £23 billion to the UK economy last year but in order to keep growing and flourishing we need to have continued access to employees from all over the world, frictionless borders for our visitors post Brexit and continued strong promotion of the UK as a welcoming destination.

“We also urge the Government to consider extending the Brexit transition period beyond December 2020 if needed so that businesses have enough time to prepare.”