Election ‘worst result’ for infra

9 June 2017 Industry reacts as Conservatives fail to get majority; May expected to remain prime minister as businesses push for speedy resolution and certainty; pound drops on hung parliament; housing minister among those ousted

The Conservatives have their overall majority in Westminster, although they remain the largest party in parliament.

Prime Minister Theresa May is understood to be determined to continue in her role despite the losses – which could provide a welcome relief to the financial markets which had expected a Tory majority.

The industry has reacted with dismay to the result, amid concerns that it will create more uncertainty and impact the UK’s negotiations with the EU over leaving the bloc, which are due to start in a matter of days.

"In addition to the broader implications for the country, a hung parliament could be the worst possible result for the infrastructure industry,” said Clyde & Co partner Robert Meakin. “With the economy already struggling with the uncertainty of Brexit, the last thing we need is further confusion and delay in the government's investment strategy.”

Another source described the situation as a “complete mess” for the industry.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, called on politicians to work quickly to create a functioning government and reassure the markets.

“Politicians must act responsibly, putting the interests of the country first and showing the world that the UK remains a safe destination for business. It’s time to put the economy back to the top of the agenda,” she said.

The pound fell sharply on news of the hung parliament, however as one source pointed out this could make the UK more attractive to foreign investors in infrastructure. “I don’t think things are just going to stop happening and people are not going to stop investing,” he said. “But there will now be another period of uncertainty.”

Among the night’s casualties was Gavin Barwell, who until the election had been the housing minister. He lost his Croydon Central seat to Labour’s Sarah Jones. He had held it with a majority of just 165.

 

This page was last updated on:
16 December 2017.

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