U.K. Urged by Business to Develop Economic Plan for Next Decade

The U.K.’s biggest business lobby challenged the government to come up with an economic plan for the next decade that can tackle the threats of Covid-19, Brexit and climate change.

Policy makers must learn the lessons of the financial crisis and plot a recovery based around a shared vision, similar to that which followed World War II, Tony Danker, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said in prepared remarks for a virtual speech to Bloomberg on Wednesday.

The country is taking a battering from Covid just as new restrictions on trade with the European Union tarnish the ruling Conservative Party’s pro-business reputation. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is due to deliver his latest vision at the Budget on March 3, and the CBI is calling for an increase in emergency support for businesses.

“It may seem that to talk now of the decade ahead is misplaced,” Danker said. “But I think it’s what the crisis demands.”

Beyond the short-term crunch, the U.K. should aim for shared economic growth that tackles productivity and skills problems with cooperation between the government and firms, according to the CBI. Their relationship became increasingly fractious in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit vote as businesses sought in vain to get detailed information on what would change when the country left the EU.

“I know the crisis is far from over, but I believe we have learnt enough already to know that we need a better decade than the last,” Danker said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.