General Election 2015: Lib Dems aim for UK economy to lead Europe

Charlotte Henry
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Nick Clegg: “The Liberal Democrats have rescued the economy and led the recovery”

Clegg and Vince Cable will today lay out the Liberal Democrat’s ambition to make Britain Europe’s largest economy over the next 20 years, and explain how they want the country to get there.

The deputy prime minister and business secretary will put forward a five point plan that they believe will help the British economy sustain economic growth over the coming decades. The plan will lead Britain’s economy to overtake those of Germany and France by 2035.

To achieve this target, the Lib Dems say that the UK would have to achieve growth of one per cent higher than Germany until 2035. The party believes that such an aim is achievable, based on its projections.

The Lib Dem plan will include ring-fencing the science budget, which is worth £4.6bn, as well as a commitment to increase that budget in real terms once the deficit has been paid off.

Clegg and Cable will also announce that their party will double the Government’s financial contribution to innovation spend in real terms by 2020-21. That will take the contribution from the public purse up from £454m in the year 20115 to more than £1bn.

The event will take place at The Chrystal, which is one of the world’s most sustainable buildings, as a way of showcasing green innovation.

Speaking there, Nick Clegg will say: “The Liberal Democrats have rescued the economy and led the recovery.”

The Lib Dem leader will also comment that as the UK’s economy improves, the country should have bold plans for future growth.

He will say: “Now is the time to be ambitious about our future. We believe that by building a strong, modern, open economy we can become the powerhouse of Europe. We can grow faster than both France and Germany, overtaking them as the largest economy in Europe in 20 years’ time.

Cable will say: “The Liberal Democrats are on the side of business in creating an economy that is open to international students and the global skills pool our country needs to grow.”

Cable will also highlight his belief that access to the EU has helped UK growth, and that a key part of the Lib Dem’s plan for continued growth involves staying within the EU. “Britain has thrived by being part of the European Union and that is why the Liberal Democrats remain committed to ensuring we continue to play our part in the world’s largest single market,” he is expected to say. 

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