Business lobby group makes 14 demands of next government

The next government should immediately guarantee the right to remain for EU citizens working in the UK and confirm a new migration system by the end of this year, the CBI has urged.

The request is one of 14 demands made on behalf of British businesses to “prioritise stability and a long-term vision for the economy”.

Other calls include action on skills, infrastructure, innovation and trade.

The skills and infrastructure demands echo this magazine’s own Building a Better Brexit manifesto, which calls for a fair deal for construction in ongoing Brexit negotiations and which has more than 125 backers, including major firms Aecom, Arcadis, Capita, Mace and Gleeds.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, said: “The next Government must provide as much certainty as possible to support firms in making the investment decisions necessary for the UK’s future prosperity.

“The UK’s hard-won reputation as a predictable, pro-enterprise economy must be protected - the world is watching.”

CBI manifesto: 14 demands from British business

Ensure the UK remains a great place to do business
1. Reduce uncertainty through business tax predictability, a policy of ‘no surprises’, and minimal regulatory change (including through the Great Repeal Bill)
2. Reverse the rising cumulative burden on business to enhance competitiveness, including a full review of business rates by the end of the next Parliament
3. Ensure that businesses in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales continue to benefit from an effective UK single market.

Prioritise jobs and trade in EU negotiations
4. Rule out a fall-back into World Trade Organisation rules and ensure robust interim transitional arrangements are agreed as soon as possible
5. Immediately guarantee right to remain for EU citizens working in the UK, and by December 2017 confirm the new migration system that will enable firms to access the skills and people they need to deliver growth while addressing public concerns
6. Get top minds from Government and business working together in ‘brightest and best’ joint Brexit taskforces on some of the most complex issues: customs; data, regulation, people, and EU funding.

Commit to a long-term industrial strategy: skills, infrastructure and innovation
7. Ensure every child has a good core education, using Chartered College of Teaching and a new fund to support heads and teachers, and guarantee high quality careers advice in all schools by 2020, with firms as valued partners
8. Build quality pathways to skilled careers by redesigning the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure it delivers quality and not just quantity, alongside a revolution in technical and digital skills through excellent implementation of new T-Levels by 2021
9. Maintain timely progress on delivering a third runway at Heathrow and set out a long-term aviation strategy by 2018
10. Push forward with projects that will drive productivity within as well as across regions, including demonstrating clear progress on Crossrail 2 and plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail
11. Target R&D spending of 3% GDP by 2025, and kick start it through a new tax allowance and renewed partnership between firms, universities and Government
12. Ensure the durability and success of the Industrial Strategy by establishing clear objectives and milestones and monitor progress independently of Government.

Work with firms to embed good business practice
13. Back business proposals to address poor conduct through a new ‘yellow card’ process for shareholders on remuneration, and for firms to report publicly on how they have engaged with employees and stakeholders
14. Set up a joint Commission involving business and Government to examine the impact of new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence and robotics, on people and jobs, with recommendations for action and policy by June 2018.