Politics top business concerns, says CBI chief

Sir Mike Rake
Sir Mike Rake
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THE focus business concern has shifted towards political risks and has become a critical factor in investment decisions, CBI President Sir Mike Rake will say in a speech to business leaders and senior politicians tonight.

Speaking at the CBI’s annual dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, Sir Mike will say that while the economic recovery is gathering pace, political uncertainty is now climbing up the risk register for businesses.

He will outline three specific political risks ahead: the Scottish referendum, Britain’s place in the EU and the upcoming general election.

“The uncertainty they engender is climbing up businesses’ risk registers, becoming a factor in investment decisions,” he will say.

Sir Mike will add that the foremost issue for businesses currently is the Scottish referendum and while the decision on independence is for the Scottish people to take, the CBI will continue to raise economic questions on the issue.

The business lobby group performed an embarrassing U-turn when it applied to reverse its official registration as a supporter of the Better Together campaign after a major backlash among members.

Sir Mike will also argue that business is in no doubt that the UK must stay in a reformed Europe and will say that the possibility of a referendum on EU membership has risked inward investments in the UK.

He will also urge the next government not to put politics before investment and opportunity.