It's How We Make It Rather Than How We Spend It Which Should Exercise Us the Most

21/03/2016 17:47 | Updated 21 March 2016

I have thought for a long time that the UK needs a new agenda for business. Political leaders on all sides must, clearly and unambiguously, make the case that business, for all its faults, is the sole driver of our collective security, health and prosperity.

The public debate for almost a decade now seems to have revolved solely around how we spend it, rather than how we make it. Imagine if we ran any other part of our lives in this way.

While the news channels obsess about whether or not it's right for all schools to become academies, and whether that extra hour until 4.30pm is worth the billions it will cost us, the critical role of business as generator of virtually all this island's wealth has been almost totally ignored

For those generators of our nation's wealth, there are many more very real and pressing concerns than whether or not Victorian schooling is finally over for the nation's children!

Like, what will happen to business rate relief - a lifeline for so many? How will we manage the impact of the living wage on our bottom lines? And what will happen to our prospects, our clients and our services if Britain votes for a Brexit?

Yesterday I watched a film from the EU referendum 'In' camp, Remain. As an ad man myself, I had to hang my head in shame. There's a complacency among those who believe Britain would never really vote to leave, and it was evident in the lack of power, imagination or conviction I saw play out on my computer screen. It's causing UK business to lose sleep.

The truth is, the vast majority of leaders sincerely do not want to force their way into political debate. But they feel equally strongly, that they do not want politics to force its way into their business. And the risks suddenly seem very real, and too high.

While too many of our politicians seem to be being led by the nose by UKIP and the anti-EU rhetoric of the right wing, it is almost impossible to find a leader of any business big or small that believes a 'Brexit' would be anything other than very bad news.

The truth is all business wants is stability and consistency. It is clear that, from business' perspective anyway, the current economic policies, trade deals and partnerships are working. Could they work better? Possibly. Could it be worse? Definitely. Look at the rest of the world. This is not a left wing or a right wing argument, but surely a common-sense argument.