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Reactions to the General Election results in the UK

17 Dec 2019 − 

EUWID collected some voices in the market to capture the mood in the paper industry directly after the election. The opinions and views below do not represent EUWID's opinions and views.

Reactions of British pulp and paper industry representatives to Boris Johnson’s victory in the general election on 12 December were mainly positive from a business point of view. Most stakeholders seemed relieved that a hung parliament had been avoided.

"There is a sense of relief amongst business that there now appears to be a path of certainty towards our future trading relationship with the EU. This government is pro-business, pro-investment and pro-capitalist, so bodes well for the long term, as given the scale of the Tory majority, it should maintain this government for possibly two terms (the next 10 years), offering a long term path. We are still mindful however of the pressures on the union with Scotland and Northern Ireland overwhelmingly preferring to remain in the EU. Certainty is also dampened due to the very tight deadline we have given ourselves to negotiate the free trade agreement with the EU. Without full sight of that, significant inward investment may be delayed.”

"With a stable majority, the Tories will now be able to proceed without any help from other parties and will try to conclude a trade agreement with the EU by end of 2020. There is even some optimism here for a softer Brexit."

"After three long torturous years of parliament ignoring the Brexit referendum the public delivered a huge mandate to the Conservative party to finally deliver Brexit and move the country forward."

"Whatever one’s political leanings, the election result will hopefully mean certainty and if we can also find a quick solution to Brexit, we can hopefully get back to agreeing and implementing the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy. Indeed one hopes that government will re-visit the strategy and address the glaring hole of the new UK processing capacity required to process the ambitious new targets and indeed the oversupplies within existing targets."

"Personally, I am extremely disappointed by the result. We will now leave the EU and probably have another period of insecurity as well as a hard Brexit at the end of 2020 ahead of us."

"Shocked, depressed. Leaving Europe is a terrible result."

"The scale of the conservative majority has surprised most people and already is stimulating debate in the business and wider community. Business in general is very relieved to have at last a UK government in power with a clear and large majority. From a business perspective this provides more confidence that whatever policy and legislation follows this election, the new government will actually be able to pass its own legislation. Secondly there is sigh of relief from many industries such as water, rail, and mail that the threat of nationalisation proposed by labour, has now gone. (...) Thirdly, while most compassionate individuals acknowledge that many of the labour and Liberal Democrat manifesto pledges had social merit, the general view from a business perspective is that under labour this undoubtedly would be paid for through higher corporation tax and higher personal tax on middle and high earners. Also the impact of higher minimum wage proposals and giving more power back to the trade unions was an unwelcome prospect of many businesses with memories of the late 1980’s and the industrial unrest of that period. Lastly the UK business community now expects final resolution of Brexit and the new conservative government to proceed at some speed with their 'Oven-Ready Brexit' withdrawal agreement and any subsequent trade deals with the EU or wider global partners. Delivery of manifesto pledges on NHS, education and police investment will be seen as good general economic stimulus. They will be seen as more fiscally prudent and less likely to burden the UK with a return to pre-recession debt levels. Overall the UK election result is considered good for UK business. On a personal note I’m pleased the Scottish nationalists did well so let’s see what 2020 brings for Nicola and the Scottish Nationalists' independence agenda."

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