12 July 2016
Birmingham business leaders have welcomed the swift conclusion to the Conservative Party leadership contest following Theresa May’s appointment as Prime Minister.
Angela Leadsom’s dramatic withdrawal from the race on Monday morning paved the way for Mrs May to be confirmed as successor to David Cameron.
Yesterday’s developments saved the UK a lengthy campaign to appoint a new Prime Minister.
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said a quick resolution was vital to help provide the stability that the business community needed in the current climate.
He is now urging Mrs May to deliver unity and strong leadership when she officially takes the reins on Wednesday.
“We welcome the swift decision made on Monday, in light of Andrea Leadsom’s withdrawal from the leadership race, that Theresa May should be appointed leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the UK,” said Mr Faulkner.
“Like many across the country, we have been calling for unity, clarity and strong leadership in recent weeks.
“Now we have clarity on who our next Prime Minister will be, it will be up to Theresa May to deliver unity - both in Parliament and across our communities - and the strong leadership our nation needs.
“As we’ve undergone a period of political change near unprecedented in modern times, it’s easy to forget that the referendum result was only announced a mere 18 days ago.
“We would urge those calling for a quick General Election to pause and take stock first.
“We need both the Government and the opposition to be in a position where they can clearly set out their stalls on their vision and priorities for the UK during negotiations and post-Brexit before it can be a helpful exercise.
“More than that we need a period of stability and certainty to help set the course of the UK’s future.
“That being said, there are questions we need urgent answers to.”
Mr Faulkner said it is important for Mrs May to deliver clarity on a host of key issues such as the long-term rights of EU nationals living in the UK.
“Almost 200,000 EU nationals live in the West Midlands region," he added.
“They, and the businesses which employ many of them, need swift confirmation of their long-term residence rights as soon as possible to end the uncertainty they are living and working in.
“In addition, we would welcome further affirmation that critical housing road, rail, energy and digital schemes, whether regional or national in scope will push ahead as planned.”