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Economic strategy to look towards regions, No 10 says

Published 02/08/2016

Theresa May wants her new Cabinet committee focusing on industrial strategy to get to work immediately
Theresa May wants her new Cabinet committee focusing on industrial strategy to get to work immediately

Theresa May's economic and industrial strategy is set to focus on boosting growth in Britain's regions, and in particular areas that have "not shared in recent industrial success", Downing Street has said.

At the inaugural meting of the Prime Minister's Cabinet committee on economy and industrial strategy, Mrs May stressed the Government should focus on delivering "an economy that works for all".

A No 10 spokesman said much of the discussion among Cabinet ministers was about how they could drive economic growth in different areas of the country.

They also discussed the importance to the strategy of championing business, increasing productivity, investing in skills and "playing to the country's strengths" while creating an economy "open to new industries", particularly those that innovate.

Following the meeting, the spokesman said: "At the first meeting of the economy and industrial strategy committee earlier this afternoon, the Prime Minister emphasised that the objective of the Government's new industrial strategy should be to deliver an economy that works for all.

"Cabinet ministers discussed the principles that should be at the heart of this new strategy and agreed on the importance of championing business and enterprise; increasing productivity and closing the gap between different areas of the country; investing in skills; and playing to the country's strengths while also creating an economy that is open to new industries, particularly those that will shape our lives in the future.

"Much of the discussion focused on ways the Government could support economic growth in different areas of the country.

"The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and the Industrial Strategy (Greg Clark) pointed out that the Government should do more to support cities outside of London contribute more to the economy.

"In that context, the Chancellor (Philip Hammond) noted that if the productivity gap between London and the South East and the rest of the country could be halved, then it could increase GDP by 9%, adding over £150 billion to the economy.

"They agreed that an effective industrial strategy must build on the advantages and recognise the disadvantages of different places, and establish how areas of the country that have not shared in recent industrial success can have a positive economic future

"The discussion also underlined that Britain is open for business, we continue to seek investment from around the world and we will continue to be a strong advocate for free trade.

"Moving forward, we should be encouraging British businesses to seize the opportunities of Brexit."

The new committee is made up of secretaries of state from 11 Government departments, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green.

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