THE Queen’s Speech contains many welcomed proposals, though they will not be translated into action unless we regain much-needed stability in our parliamentary proceedings.

Above all else, the immediate priority now must be to secure a Brexit agreement that protects access to trade and skills and which can win support across Westminster.

This is important because one in five small employers employ workers from the EU, many of whom are outside the traditional definition of ‘high-skilled’. Uncertainty in this area, with small firms left in the dark as to how our immigration system will work post-Brexit, is causing huge concern. The Immigration Bill provides something of a steer as to what the future could hold but it is vital that the formation of a new system from 2021 is evidence-led, with small businesses thoroughly consulted on fresh measures.

In addition, physical and digital infrastructure improvements are still urgently needed – especially in more rural areas. The infrastructure strategy must end the dithering over projects that really matter. This county is host to a 5G test bed. This progress needs to be built upon so that more of our local small firms can gain competitive advantage from world class communications infrastructure.

We also welcome the Pensions Bill, which promises to deliver the pension dashboards that will help our 4.9 million-strong self-employed community to save responsibly for the future.

The budget on November 6 is is a unique and unmissable opportunity for the Chancellor and the Government to deliver new thinking to bolster small business confidence and growth.

After all, the erosion of small business confidence caused by unrelenting cost hikes, combined with political and economic uncertainty has to end.