The election campaign was notable for the absence of discussion about the state of UK business. Rightly or wrongly, the focus seemed to have been largely on social issues – the NHS, social care, education, transport and housing.
And considering it was an election supposedly with Brexit very much at the heart of it, there was also surprisingly little detail there either. Hard Brexit, soft Brexit or somewhere in between, in terms of what it might mean for business, no-one really seemed to spell that out.
Post-election, political discourse is, thankfully, turning back to business. There seems a renewed recognition that without UK businesses generating products, profits, jobs, there would be no economy. British business is the engine, without which we couldn’t generate the taxes to fund the NHS, social care, education, transport and housing.
Nowhere was this highlighted better than the report showing that since the hung parliament result, UK business confidence has taken a nosedive. Understandably, businesses already nervous about where Brexit would leave them, expressed further alarm after the surprise result.
What is needed now, therefore, is the government to reassure UK business that they recognise the absolutely central role they play in our economy and that they’re listening. Businesses want to know that their concerns over tariffs, movement of workers, standards and regulations – and much more – are being taken very seriously indeed.
The FSPA’s job, as the federation which represents the many sports and play businesses around the UK, is to tell government what issues are concerning you most. Over this next period, where negotiations begin, we have the chance to gather together an overview of a sports and play trade ‘wish-list’ for Brexit – what you definitely do and definitely don’t want to happen.
Tell the FSPA what you would like to happen broadly speaking, but also tell them about those issues which are specific to your trade. If we don’t speak up and be the voice for the sports and play industry in the UK – then who will?