Advisory board to campaign for UK manufacturing-led economy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Appledore Shipyard, Devon
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Appledore Shipyard, Devon

A cross-party group of politicians have assembled to campaign for a new manufacturing-led economic agenda.

The group is made up of current and former politicians, ministers and economists who will sit on the newly-formed advisory board of the Institute for Prosperity.

The nine-person board, whose members span the political aisle, will include former Labour minister Caroline Flint, former Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, and Conservative MP John Penrose.

The Institute for Prosperity was founded by businessman and economist John Mills earlier this year and is focusing on new and different ways to increase levels of growth and prosperity through new in economic policy.

Principally, the group supports a UK manufacturing revival from less than 10% of the economy to 15%, which it says will best support left-behind communities that have been adversely impacted by deindustrialisation over the last 40 years.

The appointment of the Board, which met virtually last week, comes as the group steps up its call for a shake-up of economic policy as a way to secure much higher economic growth rates of over 3% per year.

The board members were each invited for their economic and political expertise. As well as current elected politicians from the government and opposition benches, the board includes economist and Labour peer Stephen Pollock.

Members of the board will collaborate on research, help build cross-party consensus, promote policies for growth, and campaigning for a more balanced economy.

The Board will be chaired by former Labour Minister, Shadow Secretary of State from 2010-2015, and MP for Don Valley, Caroline Flint.

Ms Flint said: “I’m pleased to not only be joining but chairing the Board during a pivotal period for Britain. Our economic future has never been so uncertain and a return to the status quo after Covid will only exacerbate our economic, social and cultural divides.

“We are facing deep-seated problems in our economy that leaves millions of communities in the North, Wales and Midlands behind. I represented a Northern community in Parliament for over 20 years. This matters to me.

“There is a growing concern in places like Doncaster and hard-working towns that were once the engine room of the British economy – that the current set-up no longer works for them, and they are right. For far too long, these communities have been side-lined in favour of more prosperous areas. Our economy needs to work for the whole of the UK and not just London and the South East.”

“The institute is developing a plan to remedy these issues and has brought together a Board capable of facing this challenge head on. We’re determined to change the debate about the best ways to secure growth.”

Institute for Prosperity www.instituteforprosperity.org.uk

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