CESA takes positives from night of shocks as Theresa May’s election gamble backfires

TOPSHOT - British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves the Conservative Party HQ in central London, on June 9, 2017, hours after the polls closed in the British general election.
Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives are set to lose their overall majority after Britain's general election, an exit poll showed on Thursday after voting closed. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL        (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association says it “sees positives” in this morning’s Election result, despite the prospect of a hung parliament causing more confusion for the market’s future.

According to CESA’s own Business Barometer surveys, uncertainty is the biggest concern in the catering equipment industry. And while the election result, which saw the Conservatives fail to secure the Majority they wanted to govern the country, would appear to have made the situation worse, CESA says there may be real positives in the result.

“One thing that is crystal clear is that there is no mandate for a hard Brexit,” says Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA. “In our discussions with the May government we’ve argued all along that our industry needs tariff-free access to the EU market, and that any new immigration controls have to allow us access to the skills and the labour we need. The prospect of a ‘no deal’ is terrifying: it could be disastrous for the catering equipment industry and the foodservice industry as a whole.”

The latest Business Barometer, which measures CESA members’ sales expectations and attitudes to the economy, covers Q1 2017.

On the questions of what the UK government’s priority should be in negations with the European Union, it showed that access to the single market was the number one, with access to skilled workers second. Member’s three top concerns over the next 12 months are uncertainty over the UK’s role in Europe, raw material prices and inflation.

“We look forward to continuing our Brexit discussions and negotiations with the next government,” said Roberts.  “The decisions being made will be critical for the future of the industry.”

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