THE next UK Government must act immediately to “shore up business confidence to allay damage to the economy” sustained in the three years since the Brexit vote, Scottish Chambers of Commerce has declared.

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Speaking ahead of today’s General Election, Scottish Chambers chief executive Liz Cameron said yesterday: “The time for the uncertainty and stagnation that has dogged us since the vote to leave the European Union must end. We cannot afford another year of lost business focus. Businesses are fed up and have grown increasingly frustrated as the focus required from parliamentarians to support economic growth has been squandered.”

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She added: “Once the electorate has decided our leadership, they must deliver an end to the Brexit stalemate and take decisive steps to improve the business environment in Scotland by supporting SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), delivering an immigration system that is fit for purpose and reducing the cost of doing business.”

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On immigration, Scottish Chambers is calling for “a simple and flexible…system that minimises the administrative burden on businesses and allows access to all skill levels – including temporary, seasonal and permanent roles – with recognition of professional qualifications and unique geographical and demographic requirements, specifically as these relate to Scotland”.