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New Prime Minister Theresa May needs to act fast to restore confidence among the UK's businesses and consumers, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Following a consultation with senior members in the UK, ACCA has called for a clear plan, continued access to the free market and preserving existing passporting arrangements for the financial services industry to be the aide memoir sat on the top of Theresa May’s initial briefing pack.

Anthony Walters, head of policy at ACCA, said: “In the fallout from the EU referendum, continued uncertainty risks paralysing business decisions and knocking consumer confidence. It is fair to say that this has been exacerbated by a lack of clear leadership in government which has left many of those running businesses – and indeed investing in them – feeling uneasy.”

According to ACCA, the priority for the new PM should be setting out a clear vision and bringing some much needed certainty.

Mr Walters added: "Our members believe the first priority for the incoming Prime Minister should be a plan for how and when the UK will renegotiate its new relationship with Europe. The message from the finance sector is clear - strategic direction from government is critical in providing at least some certainty to UK businesses and households.

"It is vital that the new leadership is able to present a clear plan of action and do so quickly."

ACCA is keen to reinforce just how important continued access to the single market is for the UK’s future prospects.

Anthony Walters said: "Our members see continued access to the single market as critical to the UK's future economic prosperity. The PM's early negotiations with the EU will therefore be watched closely by businesses and investors who will be looking for early signs of which direction the UK is likely to head in.

"If is made clear that continued access to the single market is both desired and achievable, then that is likely to boost business confidence, whereas any wavering toward a split can only add to the uncertainty. If access to the single market begins to look like it might be restricted, the Prime Minister and her cabinet will need to work fast to assure all that there is a clear Plan B and that such a plan is achievable."