Labor’s Gareth Thomas accused the government of a ‘consistent failure to defend exports’ after it was revealed that UK export growth to the G20 was the weakest in the G7.
House of Commons data, uncovered by Labour, revealed the UK was the only G7 country whose exports to the G20 fell between 2010 and 2021 – by 1.1%. The United States saw its exports to the G20 increase by 41.4% over the same period.
Exports from Italy increased by 38.9%, while Germany and Canada saw their exports increase by 29.7%. The average growth in G7 countries was 25.7%, with all countries except the UK and Japan experiencing double-digit growth since 2010.
The Shadow Labor Trade Minister said: “These devastating figures underscore a decade of weak economic growth with a consistent failure to champion exports and help UK businesses get their products to overseas markets.
“When the former Conservative export minister thinks the government isn’t doing enough to help, it’s time for a change. It exposes the commercial success claims of Liz Truss and other prominent conservatives as yet more fiction of this failing party.
“Unions will make economic growth our priority for the government to tackle the cost of living crisis and increase the number of well-paying jobs.
“As part of our growth plan, we will reform the trade agreement with Europe to cut red tape, establish a new industrial strategy to boost manufacturing and boost export promotion.”
Former Exports Secretary Mike Freer criticized the Commerce Department in July for not doing enough to help businesses send goods overseas.
Keir Starmer gave a speech to the Center for European Reform think tank in July, setting out Labour’s ‘plan to make Brexit work’. The Labor leader announced the party would not bring the UK back into the EU or seek to join the single market or a customs union.
Starmer said: “Nothing about the revision of these lines will help boost growth or lower food prices or help UK businesses thrive in the modern world. It would simply be a recipe for more division.
“It would prevent us from meeting the challenges people are facing, and it would ensure that Britain would remain in lockdown for another decade.”
Starmer said Labor’s plan would “remove unnecessary barriers” to trade, including through the creation of a new veterinary agreement for trade in agricultural products between the UK and the EU.
In a separate speech later in July, the Labor leader said his party will ‘fight the next election on economic growth’ and that he had told the shadow cabinet that ‘every policy they put forward will be judged by the contribution they make. ‘it brings to growth’. and productivity”.
Starmer also announced the creation of an “industrial strategy council”. He said the council would become a “permanent part of the landscape”, which spells out “our strategic national priorities that go beyond the policy cycle” and “bring in expertise from business, science and trade unions”.
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