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Nick Clegg: We need to take the politics out of Britain’s industrial policy

June 19, 2014 12:28 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

In a bid to put manufacturing at the health of Britain's economy, Nick Clegg led a personal appeal to all parties to "take politics out of Britain's industrial policy".

At the Manufacturing Summit held today in Wirral, Nick spoke about his commitment to British industry. He called for the establishment of a cross party consensus, building on the work of individuals across parties to lay the best possible foundation for our future.

Nick said:

"There's a real sense of optimism emerging - albeit cautiously - about the future of British manufacturing. Our economy is growing again - with Britain forecast to grow faster than any other G7 economy this year.

We have more people in work than ever before - with your businesses adding around 10,000 new manufacturing jobs to our economy every month.

Orders are increasing. Exports are rising. Output is up."

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In his speech, Nick referred to British industries as a network of businesses which keep our local communities alive.

He added:

"I know as much as anyone about trading blows in the Westminster Bear Pit. And I'm not going to pretend that's going to end anytime soon. Yet, as we've seen in the last four years, there are times when - in the national interest - we need to put the political point scoring aside."

Nick made it clear that the Liberal Democrats will seek to priorities manufacturing and industry if they are to return to government after May 2015.

After announcing the launch of Round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund, which has over £200 million available, Nick stated that Lib Dems will continue to fight for the Regional Growth Fund to be extended beyond this parliament.

At the Manufacturing Summit, Vince Cable also announced a £7 million grant to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield.