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Theresa May will today urge business to look forward with ‘rational optimism’ to a new chapter in Britain’s economy.
In a speech to the CBI conference, the Prime Minister will say that – with hard work, imagination and commitment by Government and industry – there are ‘huge opportunities’ ahead over the next decade.
Mrs May will say the Industrial Strategy will have a key role to play in ensuring all aspects of the UK’s free market economy delivers economic and social progress for everyone in society.
Ahead of the publication of the Industrial Strategy White Paper later this month, the Prime Minister will also use this opportunity to talk through the underlying principles of the strategy.
The Prime Minister is expected to say:
‘Our job now is to look to the future. If the last ten years have seen us weathering the storm of the financial crisis rebuilding our fiscal and economic position, the next ten years must see the beginning of a new chapter in the story of the British economy.
‘So today I want to talk about my vision for the stronger, fairer, and better-balanced economy we need to build in the years ahead. An economy which builds on its strengths and can compete in the world… central to this plan is our modern Industrial Strategy.
‘…By setting the right frameworks, and investing in skills and infrastructure, we can help broaden our economic base, build a more balanced economy and make Britain a true global leader.
‘We cannot – and will not try – to make a plan for every corner of our economy. We believe in the free market and won’t attempt to shield the economy from market forces. So we will have to make strategic decisions about where the government can – and where it cannot – best support key sectors of our economy.
‘Such an approach avoids the failed state interventionism of the 1970s. But it also learns from the past failures of governments to give sectors and places across the country the long-term support they need to cope with economic change and compete in a changing global market place.’
On building a better future the Prime Minister will say:
‘So as we look ahead to the next ten years for Britain’s economy, we should do so as rational optimists. There are huge opportunities ahead. Making the most of them will demand hard work, imagination, and commitment.
‘But Britain has succeeded in the past when we have been confident in our strengths and bold in our action. When we have backed the ambition of our wealth-creators, who use their talent, hard work and skill to take a chance, to grow a business and to spread economic opportunity to others.
‘With the right economic foundations, a balanced approach to public spending, the best Brexit deal, the right long-term frameworks and incentives for business and our wealth creators given the freedom and support to thrive, and Government playing a strategic role in support of economic growth right across the United Kingdom, I am convinced that we can and will make the most of those opportunities, and build a better future for everyone in our country.’