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With Brexit done, British businesses can plan for a brighter future

January 1, 2021

By Andrew Griffith MP, founder Chairman of C4EG

Now that the Prime Minister’s trade deal with the EU has been passed by Parliament this week, British businesses and investors can luxuriate in certainty and plan for the future after nearly four years of being forced to think short-term.

Speaking to my former colleagues in industry and finance over the last few days, it is clear that board agendas are being re-written, investment committees hastily convened, and spreadsheet columns previously measured in months are being re-calibrated in years.

With the vaccine bringing the post-Covid future in sight, growth plans for the UK are suddenly the top priority to the extent that the Prime Minister’s recently established Office for Investment had better clean its own gigabit broadband pipes ready for the coming avalanche of enquiries.

As the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, I see examples daily of innovators and entrepreneurs pursuing opportunities in the rapidly expanding and highly valuable low carbon economy.ADVERTISING

British-based firms are exporting electrolysers to Europe and fuel cells to Asia, the City of London is becoming a world-leading hub for green investment while our airports and airlines do the same for sustainable aviation.

Similar opportunities exist in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, the life sciences, satellites, aerospace and fintech where the UK’s science and research base positions us strongly.

Indeed, surveyed from an external perspective it is hardly surprising that in 2021 the British economy is a highly attractive prospect in an uncertain world. A stable, pro free-enterprise democracy with tariff-free access to EU markets, close links to the faster-growing Commonwealth countries and our native use of English as the universal language used by the fastest growing sectors and economies of the world.

The opportunity presented is the stability of Switzerland combined with the dynamism of Singapore. Consistent with this, economists rightly forecast UK growth in 2021 to outstrip the US, Japan and the EU.

As luck would have it, Global Britain will have lots of platforms to showcase its attractions. The UK Presidency of the G7 is just days away, the UK already holds the Commonwealth Chair, while the must-attend event of global leadership in 2021 will be the UK-hosted COP26 Climate Summit.

And it is not just the economy that will be unleashed in 2021: the Whitehall machine has had half its cylinders permanently running on no deal preparation. For 18 solid months, Cabinet sub-committees have met twice or thrice weekly, tying up millions of person-hours with thousands of our ablest civil servants working on nothing else.

As these resources are re-coupled to the drivetrain of a government with a clear vision and the high-octane fuel of an 80-seat majority there are few limits to what can be achieved.

Widely acclaimed policies announced during the pandemic such as the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Energy White Paper and the Lifetime Skills Strategy can now be transformed into actions and those actions in turn support the growth of new and existing businesses, employment and prosperity.

As businesses and investors look to what 2021 has in store, it is worth recalling that the so-called “roaring twenties” – one of the fastest periods of economic growth and prosperity in economic history – didn’t actually get going until the second year of that decade.

This article was originally published by The Telegraph

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