How Will the 2017 General Election Affect the Manufacturing Industry?

Date: April 26, 2017

On 18th April 2017, Theresa May surprised the UK with the announcement of a snap general election. This is three years ahead of the original 2020 election, but this election has been called in order to solidify and strengthen the government moving forward with Brexit negotiations. May said of the matter that the "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit".

Importantly, here at Dean Group, we must wonder what this snap election means for the manufacturing industry and the UK?

What is a Snap Election?

In 2011, there was reform movement put into place to make UK elections more predictable and regular. However, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act also had a clause for a snap general election to be called under two circumstances: as a result of a vote of no confidence or if MPs vote for an early election with a two-thirds majority vote.

In this case, Theresa May put the question of a snap election to Parliament and they voted over two-thirds in favour of the move.

Brexit and the Election

As a whole, this general election will not impact Brexit in terms of it going forward. Article 50 has been triggered and is an irreversible process for the most part. However, it may have a huge effect on whether or not we will see a ‘soft’ or a ‘hard’ Brexit. The Labour party was largely behind a Remain vote and so it is likely we would see a less harsh breakaway from the EU as a result, despite there being no turning back from Brexit.

Elections Effect on Manufacturing

On 8th June, the country will be asked to make a second monumental decision for the direction of the UK in the next five years. No doubt, Brexit will be at the heart of many of the debates surrounding the election. However, what does this mean for the manufacturing industry?

The most important issue for the industry moving forward is, it seems, the recruitment of workers outside of the UK. Whereas previously the industry was able to recruit great minds from across the world – making our aerospace and automotive industries among the top in the world – now there will undoubtedly be some hesitancy to do so. The possibility of hiring a great prospect only for their right to work in the UK to be revoked once Brexit negotiations are over is a real fear, one shared in many industries. Some have said the results may be a self-inflicted skills crisis.

Outside of this, many remain uncertain about the effect a general election paired with Brexit will have on the industry. Certainly, there is likely to be some turmoil as consumer confidence dips due to this political upheaval. For the most part, the full effect of the election will only come to light as the results are confirmed as 9th June dawns onto yet another new period of British political history.


At Dean Group, we are confident that our services will help the manufacturing industry remain strong throughout the general election process, no matter the result.

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