My SPERI British Political Economy Brief on the continuation – and transformation – of manufacturing decline
The new UK prime minister, Theresa May, is promising to revive and indeed
enhance the industrial policy activism to which the Conservative-Liberal Democrat
coalition government was committed. In this Brief, the Sheffield Political Economy
Research Institute considers the recent performance of UK manufacturing in the
context of the sector’s historical decline. It contrasts the latest evidence on both
jobs and output within UK manufacturing with the form that decline has taken in
recent decades, suggesting that rather than decline having been halted, it may
instead have taken on a new form. The May government will need to understand
this process if its industrial policy agenda, especially in the context of Brexit, is to
succeed to any extent.
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