The Conservative Party’s general election manifesto could not have been clearer:
A sustainable recovery must be driven by growth in exports.
A preceding speech by George Osborne specified ‘net exports’, explaining that rising exports had to be matched by falling imports, as Britain once again became a nation of ‘makers’ rather than simply consumers.
Yet the data on Britain’s trading position since the coalition government took office is equally clear: the trade deficit is getting worse rather than better.
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