Theresa May pledges to defend free market vision with her industrial strategy

 
Helen Cahill
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London From Above
Some firms worry Brexit has become a distraction from other key areas of policy (Source: Getty)

The Prime Minister will today continue her defence of free-market economics ahead of the government's white paper on its industrial strategy.

Speaking today at the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) annual conference, May will commit to avoiding "the failed state interventionism of the 1970s", in a thinly-veiled attack on the economic policies of the Labour party.

The Prime Minister is expected to say: "We cannot – and will not try – to make a plan for every corner of our economy.

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"We believe in the free market and won’t attempt to shield the economy from market forces. So we will have to make strategic decisions about where the government can – and where it cannot – best support key sectors of our economy."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will also speak at the conference. He is expected to say that an economy that allows "a few to grow very rich...is neither stable nor stainable".

‚ÄčThe CBI is using its conference to call on the government to make sure it keeps focusing on its industrial strategy, saying that Brexit must not distract from other important projects.

In a survey of members the CBI found 29 per cent felt a lack of attention to the industrial strategy was a risk for the UK economy.

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Speaking to City A.M., Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, said the government should focus on training British workers and ensure the infrastructure projects it has committed to stay on track.

She said housing was a key priority for businesses in London, and that the issue should be addressed in the chancellor's upcoming Budget.

"I think London is the most extraordinary jewel in the UK crown," she said. "It is a world mega-city that we need to continue to evolve and move forward."

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