Seven Conservative MPs have teamed up with the Centre for Policy Studies and ConHome to propose ideas to turbo charge the UK economy. Yesterday, Claire Perry hailed the government's planning reforms as a way to help Britain's crumbling infrastructure receive new investment.
Jo Johnson is the Member of Parliament for Orpington.
In a two-speed world, in which the south and east power ahead while the old Euro-Atlantic world slumps back into recession, there is no nothing to dictate that Britain must stay in the slow lane of economic recovery. That’s why, although by instinct suspicious of the Heseltinian tradition of herding businessmen onto aeroplanes bound for faraway countries, George Osborne and David Cameron have spearheaded the new commercial diplomacy, leading high profile trade delegations to India, Japan and Turkey, establishing the new Trade and Investment cabinet subcommittee, chaired by Lord Green, and giving commerce greater prominence in the FCO.
But, as September’s data underline, if exports are to play their designated role as a motor for recovery, we need to work harder to re-orient our fossilised trade patterns, which have been shaped by centuries of history, geography and culture, and galvanise risk-averse SMEs into rising to the challenge of competing in overseas markets. The overall trade deficit hit an 11-month high, while the trade in goods deficit was the largest on record. With eurozone demand in freefall, surveys unsurprisingly point to further falls in exports over coming months.
Resurrecting the hope of export-led growth will be a considerable challenge, for many reasons.