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Travel industry ‘concern’ over snap general election

The GTMC has expressed concern that the snap general election in June could damage the fragile post-Brexit UK economy.

Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking a fresh mandate that would give her the “strongest hand” in talks and make it hard for people to “frustrate” the EU exit.

The next general election had been expected in 2020, but the Fixed Term Parliaments Act allows for one to be held earlier if two-thirds of MPs back the move.

The GTMC’s chief executive Paul Wait has called for all major parties to ensure there is a strategy for British businesses to continue to grow domestically and abroad, but warned political instability would be a problem for the economy.

“The timing of this General Election does cause concern,” said Wait. “Political uncertainty and the circus fall-out from Brexit prevailed in 2016, and another rollercoaster year is not good for the world’s confidence in UK Plc.

“A priority for Britain is to demonstrate that we are a leading economy in which to invest in, and buy from. Businesses around the world need to see our leaders looking outwards to a stable future, and not repeating internal squabbles on a public stage.”

He added: “We urge all of the major parties to ensure that a long term strategy for airport expansion – in addition what has already been set out – to allow for British businesses to continue to grow both here in the UK and abroad,” said Wait.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association, has called for unity from the government following Brexit and Tuesday’s announcement.

“For future economic prosperity and to ensure our sector continues to thrive and the UK remains the destination of choice for international business events, it is essential that the Government is united and stable to negotiate the best deal for the UK as we exit the European Union," said Longhurst.

“This isn’t a political game. We believe Theresa May had no option but to make today’s unscheduled announcement that there will be a General Election.”

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