Businesses and retailers have been left in a state of shock following the Conservative party falling short of a majority in the UK election, a result that indicates further political turbulence less than a year after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
The snap election, which was announced in March, was called with the intention of prime Minster Theresa May extending her majority lead heading into Brexit negotiations. Instead of increasing her majority, May has lost seats and the Conservative Party has fallen short of an absolute majority in parliament (currently) by 8 seats.
Sterling’s value had dropped overnight, and as trading got under way in London it slipped further, standing 2% lower at about $1.27, with markets worried about continued political uncertainty.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI said to the Telegraph:”This is a serious moment for the UK economy. The priority must be for politicians to get their house in order and form a functioning government, reassure the markets and protect our resilient economy.”
“A hung parliament could be the worst possible result for business,” added Robert Meakin, partner at law firm Clyde and Co. “With the economy already struggling with the uncertainty of Brexit, the last think we need is further confusion and delay in the government’s investment strategy.”
The jewellery industry has continued to feel the consequences of an uncertain future for the UK, with suppliers and retailers being impacted by a hike in gold and diamond prices, and the value of the pound.
The news of a hung parliament will further fuel concerns as the industry awaits to find out what business will be like once the UK eventually leaves the European Union.