Five of the biggest business groups in the UK – the British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of Business Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors, and EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, have written an open letter calling for the government to provide clear leadership and immediate action on two fronts, following the vote last month to leave the European Union.

The letter calls for the government to end the uncertainty facing EU nationals living and working in the UK, and action to progress long-planned infrastructure projects.

Full text of the letter below:

SIR -

Across the United Kingdom, the firms and business leaders we represent are considering the opportunities and challenges arising in the wake of the EU referendum.

As the UK’s leading business organisations, we commit to working in partnership with government to seek the best possible future terms for trade with the EU and the rest of the world — for all sizes of business, in all parts of the country.

Meantime, the government needs to provide clear leadership and immediate action on two fronts.

First, an end to the uncertainty facing EU nationals living and working in the UK. Stopping the ugly spike in abuse and violence is imperative. So, too, is a clear and unequivocal reaffirmation of the long-term residence rights of EU citizens currently working in the UK – both because it is the fair thing to do, and because their skills are crucial to the success of our businesses, both now and into the future.

Second, action to progress long-planned infrastructure projects. Last week’s delay to a decision on airport expansion must not set the tone for other critical housing road, rail, energy and digital schemes, whether regional or national in scope. It is vital that these investments continue, given their outsized impact on jobs, regional growth, and prosperity.

Addressing these key issues would be a shot in the arm for business confidence, and send the right signals across the world. This may be a time for calm reflection, but it is not a time for inaction.

Yours sincerely,

BCC / CBI / FSB / IOD / EEF