DEBATE: Does the continued boom in UK manufacturing prove the Brexit doomsayers wrong?

BRITAIN-ROLLS ROYCE-MANUFACTURING
Could British manufacturing reshape itself as a key pillar of the future economy? (Source: Getty)

Does the continued boom in UK manufacturing prove the Brexit doomsayers wrong?

Dennis de Jong, managing director at UFX.com, says YES.

Just 18 months after the Brexit vote, I doubt there were many Remainers who would have expected the British manufacturing sector to perform so strongly over such a sustained period, particularly considering the global political turmoil we’ve experienced in that time.

It may be too early for the government to claim that Brexit will be plain sailing for UK industry, but the current signs seem to suggest that companies are operating smart, flexible plans which can mitigate for reasonable turbulence in demand and the strength of the pound. Provided this continues, there’s no reason why the UK can’t continue to attract significant foreign investment, cementing the sector as a key manufacturing hub on the edge of Europe, but at the centre of something far bigger.

It might seem easy to brush these figures aside, but though it currently accounts for just a tenth of GDP, who’s to say this isn’t British manufacturing reshaping itself as a key pillar of the future economy?

Read more: British manufacturing records strongest output since 2008

Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefield and a leading supporter Open Britain, says NO.

The UK has slumped to the slowest growing economy in the G7 since the Brexit vote.

UK growth forecasts are abysmal. Inflation is up, prices are rising, the value of the pound has collapsed, and real wages continue to fall.

If this is what the sunlit uplands of Brexit look like, I don’t think many people will be too cheery. Brexit is already costing us all money, £300m a week since the referendum.

This isn’t Project Fear, this is Project Reality. Brexit is much more complicated than we were told, and as the costs start to mount, we all have the right to keep an open mind about whether it’s the right path for the country.

For UK manufacturing to thrive, we must remain a member of the Single Market and the Customs Union.

No doubt the government will end up trying to reinvent the wheel, but I think they’ll soon find that no reinvention will be as round as the original.

Read more: Hammond to EU: Ditch the Brexit punishment and start talking trade

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