When will our Government return to taking business seriously?

Last night I was asked onto a TV debate where the question was - Would reversing Brexit be a vote winner for Keir Starmer and Labour?

When will our Government return to taking business seriously

Not a difficult question on the face of it since in July a YouGov survey found that faced with a repeat of the 2016 vote 55% would vote to Remain in the EU, with only 31% saying they would opt to Leave.

Bizarrely 80% of the viewers watching the show answered ‘No’ to the question, which makes no sense, except to show just how tribal the Brexit issue still is within UK politics and society.

It also wasn’t my most straight forward appearance since I was faced with two of my greatest foes, Brexit and the Labour party. Back the Tories, the traditional party of business, and get lumped with more years of isolationist Brexit; or go with my Remainer gut and wind up with a Labour government that treats businesses with contempt.

Faced with such a decision, what should I do? It was a huge dilemma and one that the TV producers had set up to make for interesting viewing. And it was. 

What a choice; a party that knows nothing about business, and one that sold its free-enterprise soul to the devil in exchange for cheap anti-European votes!

The Brexit referendum was in 2016, and we’ve been out of the EU almost four years. So, why are we still diverting our attention from serious issues by arguing about Brexit, when we should be getting on with doing the best for the UK, its economy and its people?

None of this nonsense is good for businesses, no matter what their owners think about Brexit. So how about our politicians bury the bloody Brexit hatchet and go back to policies that might actually make Britain great again, rather than resorting to stupid feel-good slogans?

What we need are ministers who can go back to coming up with policies that incentivise people to start and grow businesses. We need to be able to sell to the most people possible, and it matters little any more if we are EU members, associate members or not members at all.

What we need to do is make friends and do deals with other countries that are good for us, and we need to do them without always thinking ‘is this a pro or anti-Brexit policy?’ We need pro-British business policies. We must stop looking at everything through Brexit tinted goggles.

Yesterday Rishi made a good start by making the UK’s bid for net zero a bit more sensible and achievable. I’m no expert on it all but what I do know is there is neither the technology or the skilled labour available to meet the original requirements for doing away with gas boilers.

And it’s not just gas engineers we need. We are literally running out of all skilled construction workers, not to mention doctors and nurses. As my generation retire and sadly die off, we need to train replacements, and we are not doing that anywhere like the numbers required. So another strong business-based policy would be to get a couple of hundred thousand apprentices into training immediately.

And don’t get me started on charging to use the roads and cycle lanes in city centres. London has the ULEZ, but the idea that it won’t be something faced by the entire country very soon is naive. It’s coming to a town or city near your business, even though in not many years all cars and vans will have zero emissions anyway. As far as I’m concerned this is just another anti-business policy that makes no sense and is only designed to raise a few quid.

Business is responsible for every penny that comes in through taxes and is used to run the country, and it’s about time our politicians remembered this.

Charlie Mullins
Charlie Mullins

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