Tuesday 26 May 2020

Lift the lockdown now to protect ‘Blue Wall’ jobs

A vote in favour of lifting the lockdown would be for good reason. Our economy has taken a dire hit and unemployment is skyrocketing. The timing for Britain has been especially bad. In the year leading up to Brexit, just when industries needed to be at their best, they have instead been hobbled by the pandemic.

This is not a retrospective criticism of the Prime Minister for taking us into lockdown, it is a call for the Government and British society to look now to the future. The Government and our NHS have done so much to save lives – now they must work equally hard to save our economy.

The Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has the tools of Government necessary to preside over our economic revival. BEIS must become one of the leading departments of this country, second only to the Department of Health, and it must be given all the powers and resources it needs to form a bridge between business and Government. Key among them, I believe, would be a new Business Council that could serve as a point of connection between Number 10, BEIS, the Department of Health, and British businesses across the country.

Achieve this, and the UK could emerge from the coronavirus crisis a fundamentally changed nation – for the better. A dynamic but advanced economy; an agile and streamlined regulatory framework; an attractive and safe market for investors; a robust manufacturing sector combined with a world-beating financial services sector. This would revolutionise British industry as we know it, not just in London, but from Newcastle to Southampton. 


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