How Will A Hung Parliament Affect The Hospitality Industry?

As the country comes to terms with last nights shock election result where no party as an overall majority that doesn’t mean, and what impact will it have on the hospitality sector?

Theresa May’s decision to call an election in order to provide a mandate and create “stability and certainty” entering Brexit negotiations later this month have spectacularly backfired.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party was at one stage 21 points behind the Conservative party behind performed far better than predicted, winning 261 seats (a gain of 29 seats) called on the prime minister to resign.

At the time of going to press Ms May has refused calls to do so and will we understand attempt to form a government.

Commenting on the results, industry spokespeople have said:

British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments:

“I want to congratulate all those elected, including many great friends of our industry.  We also lost some great friends from all parties. I want to pay a particular tribute to Graham Evans, Chairman of the APPBG.

“I hope the current uncertainly can be quickly resolved, as there are many urgent issues that need attention. With the Brexit negotiations due to begin, I hope we can secure very swiftly the rights of existing EU staff in our sector, and begin to put in place arrangements that ensure we have access to the skills we need, and trade as freely as possible.

“We will play our part to attract UK based talent too.  Whilst Brexit will bring opportunities as well as challenges, the sector needs a stable policy framework with no new and unnecessary costs and red tape. We are already dealing with a great many new costs and regulatory challenges this year, with a big increase in beer duty in the Budget, and unfair business rates, among others. We need a relentless focus on measures that actually help business to create jobs and growth.”

Food & drink Federation Director General Ian Wright CBE said:

“The nation has delivered its verdict and the country demands leadership at this uncertain time. Politicians across all the parties must come together to deliver in the national interest so the UK’s £110 billion food and farming industry can continue to thrive. The Brexit clock is ticking loudly and the country will not forgive a failure to act.”

Rachel Dobson, managing director of buying specialist Lynx Purchasing, said:

“In the latest edition of the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast, we said that hospitality and catering businesses needed a period of stability to help counter the effects of food and drink inflation. A hung parliament makes that extremely unlikely, and the financial markets have already started to react. A weaker pound will mean higher prices for many catering staples, and operators will have to plan their menus accordingly. Working closely with suppliers to make the most of seasonal availability, and examine every cost centre to see where savings can be found, will be more important than ever.”

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said:

“The general election result means that we will be faced with the reality of greater and continued political uncertainty in the short term and that is bad for the economy and business . This is the last thing the hospitality and tourism industry needs as we already face a ‘perfect storm’ of issues but the BHA will work with whatever government emerges to see a return to stability and certainty so that we can get on with creating jobs and growth in the economy.”