MANUFACTURERS are warning the government that its non-existent industrial strategy following Brexit risks sabotaging growth.
The caution today from the manufacturing bosses’ body EEF came as research showed four in five businesses are actively planning to drive up productivity post-Brexit.
But to support this growth government policies must help deliver a more skilled workforce, improved infrastructure and a lower cost of doing business, the EEF said.
EEF head Terry Scuoler said: “We need to get this right and we need to get this in place now so that manufacturers’ growth ambitions are supported across the pre and post-Brexit divide.
“It is not enough to talk about an industrial strategy — it is time for the government to draw a line under the stop-go efforts of the past and to demonstrate its commitment to industry by putting some much-needed flesh on the bones.”
Shadow industrial strategy minister Chi Onwurah said: “This report shows British business is ready to step up to the challenges of post-Brexit manufacturing — if only government could support them.
“Instead, the Conservatives have no industrial strategy.
“The Tories failed to prevent the steel crisis, they have overseen the decline of regions outside of London and starved innovation across the country.
“It is the Tories who are stopping businesses succeeding.”
Manufacturing union Unite’s Tony Burke said Britain must have an industrial strategy in place before Brexit.
He told the Star: “Although new Business Energy and Industrial Strategy secretary Greg Clark has been in place since July, we have seen little in the way of any fresh ideas that will take us towards having an industrial strategy.
“It’s absolutely essential that we have a rebalanced economy based around a strong manufacturing base and without that it’s going to be more difficult for us to negotiate trade deals.”