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The most important vote for a generation

Posted on June 7th, 2017

Geoff Poyzer
The General Election tomorrow will be one of the most important opportunities for a generation to shape Britain’s future, according to Geoff Poyzer, President at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).

He said: “Tomorrow is the day on which all those of us who want to do our bit to shape Britain’s future will mark an ‘X’ on a slip of paper and hope for the ‘right’ outcome.

“Whether you vote for the politics, the person, the party or, worst of all, the personality, the General Election is your one chance to influence our nation’s future.

“It’s essential that all of us exercise our democratic right and vote. Those that can, but don’t, relinquish their right to complain later.

“For some, tomorrow’s ballot will be seen as a potential opportunity to overturn last June’s EU Referendum outcome. But while political party opinions and promises about Brexit will undoubtedly influence where many make their mark, it is vital that it is not the only issue considered.

“True, and without doubt, it is the biggest. If the next Government proceeds with Brexit then it will need to focus on arranging a deal with the EU or having contingency plans in place if there is no deal.
“It will also have to sort trade agreements with all the non-EU countries with which we currently trade through EU arrangements. That’s no small task.

“Add to that the Great Repeal Act, which will enshrine into UK law the myriad EU Regulations we have adopted during more than 40 years of ever-closer ties to the EU, border controls, pan-Europe security measures, customs, etc. The list is very long and each item is as important as the one before and after it.

“But there are also many domestic issues that cannot be allowed to fall out of focus or be allowed to stall if Britain is to be seen globally as the place to do business in the future.

“Closing the skills gap is one of the biggest issues. We must produce school, college and university leavers with the skills that employers need. Anything less is simply unacceptable.

“There is no point academia churning out thousands of graphic designers every year if the jobs available are for engineers, nurses, bricklayers or coders. It’s essential that academia studies employment trends and creates a next-generation workforce that is fit for purpose.

“Our members tell us repeatedly that young people are presenting for interview with no ability to cope with rudimentary tasks, such as answering the telephone or simple problem solving. Business needs to be closely involved in academia, it needs to be in the classroom or the classroom needs to visit business more frequently.

“As someone said to me only a few days ago: ‘Without business, there is nothing.’ It’s true. Without business, academia has no valid goal, people have no reason to learn, no daily drive, no income and there would be no ‘national economy’.

“Infrastructure is also important – Midland Main Line electrification, HS2 Eastern Leg (its Toton station hub, Chesterfield/Sheffield spur and continuation into Scotland), improvements to the Derby-Stoke-on-Trent-Crewe railway line, smart motorways, 5G telecoms and the rollout of superfast or at least high speed broadband to every business and home in the country, with the same emphasis on rural communities as that given to towns and cities.

“And then there are the perennial issues such as the NHS funding, education generally and whether you agree with grammar schools or free schools, making sure we have affordable housing stock to meet demand, a health and social service that can deliver medical and social care to all who need it, clean air to breath, secure and affordable energy delivered to our homes and offices, good roads, good intra- and inter-county connectivity… to name but a few.

“The General Election ends at 10pm tomorrow when the last polling station closes its doors and seals its ballot boxes.

“While the third major ballot in two years has provided a certain level of sport – one side versus another, each scoring points at every opportunity - unlike real sport, the final result won’t be known until sometime the following day and the true impact of this General Election won’t be felt for quite a few years.

“Whatever side you support, please make your vote count.”


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