R&D tax credit specialist Jumpstart UK has urged political leaders across the UK to ensure “a renewed focus and commitment” to R&D in their party election manifestos.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap General Election on June 8th on Tuesday as she seeks a mandate from the British public to lead Brexit negotiations.

The incumbent Conservative Party is favourite to retain power and Ian Wolfendale, business development manager for Jumpstart in the North West, said all parties must keep a focus on tech pledges alongside promises on Brexit.

“Political parties across the UK will already be in the throes of producing election manifestos and we are calling upon leaders and policy-makers to ensure thatthey reflect the critical importance of R&D in shaping the UK economy in the coming years,” he said.

“Given the short lead in time to 8th June, we would realistically expect a series of much shorter Brexit-focused manifestos, harking back to policies set out in more substantial equivalents in 2015. 

“However, we must see a renewed focus and commitment to R&D – we simply cannot have a quick copy and paste job from previous manifestos.

“Just six months ago, the Prime Minister pledged to boost the Government’s investment in R&D by an extra £2bn a year to ensure that ‘post-Brexit Britain is at the cutting edge of science and tech’.

“Parties must demonstrate to their constituent companies through their manifestos how they will ensure that this becomes a reality in the coming years.

“In order for North West companies to flourish in a post-EU world, they must utilise every vehicle they can to strengthen their competiveness and underpin their journey to sustained growth. 

“Investment in R&D will be crucial to this and, in the run up to the snap election on 8th June, we will be looking to each of the political parties to outline what they will be doing to support and encourage R&D activity across the UK.”