INDUSTRY & DEVELOPMENT
We support fundamental economic reform to restore a serious national industrial sector that will provide reliable, well-paid and dignified jobs; people should not be left to struggle through life on temporary contracts and low-pay work in a flimsy service economy that offers nothing more than McJobs and call centres. We need a balanced economy with a strong manufacturing sector to reduce our reliance on the finance and service sectors. We support a return to an economic policy which values small businesses and individual enterprise beyond big multinationals and corporate CEOs. We want to put British industry first, increase our economic self-sufficiency and challenge the excesses of globalisation, while continuing to participate in the wider world economy. We believe that any nation that is serious about its security, prosperity and self-sufficiency must have a strong industrial sector which functions as part of a wider substantial national infrastructure.
A British Industry Commission
We would establish a British Industry Commission to implement the rebuilding of a serious industrial infrastructure across the United Kingdom and to coordinate activities across industries and regions. We would ensure a focus on research and development which strong industrial nations such as Germany have embraced.
Re-establish British Steel
We would restore a nationalised British steel producer in order to provide high-quality reliable steel for use on government projects, including the rebuilding of the Royal Navy fleet and to avoid a repeat of fiascos such as the use of cheap, poor-quality Chinese steel in the construction of the Queensferry Crossing.
Re-establish British Shipbuilders
This would ensure that all government-funded vessels are built to the highest standards and that the benefits of their construction stay in the UK. We would reopen four initial shipyards at Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow and Portsmouth to assist with the rebuilding of the Royal Navy fleet.
Re-establish British Coal
We would re-establish British Coal because our energy supply is a matter of national security, and not just profit (although other developed nations like Australia employee tens of thousands of coal miners by private companies operating significant profits). This would allow us to utilise remaining recoverable reserves while undertaking a longer-term transition to low-carbon nuclear energy, and generate significant employment in the process.
Re-establish British Aluminium
We would re-establish British Aluminium as an aluminium and hydroelectric energy company, based on other examples of similar public companies such as Norsk Hydro, a Norwegian public aluminium company that now operates worldwide.
Re-establish Public Research Laboratories
We would re-establish a number of what were once the most important public research laboratories in the UK, most of which were privatised in the 90s. We would re-establish the National Engineering Laboratory, National Physical Laboratory, Laboratory of the Government Chemist, the Building Research Establishment and the Transport Research Laboratory as state-owned research organisations.
Re-establish British Rail Engineering Ltd
We would re-establish British Rail Engineering to supply the rolling stock for British Rail. Since its privatisation in 1989, BRE was sold out to a Swedish-Swiss conglomeration and now a company headquartered in Berlin. It must be restored as a public company generating jobs and productivity within Britain.
Establish an Industrial Apprenticeships Scheme
This scheme would allow young adults to gain the skills needed to work in the industrial sector and give them a future of solid, skilled employment.
Protectionism for British Industry
We would protect British industry from the price competition of developing economies by significantly increasing Customs Duty from any countries we do not have free trade agreements with, encouraging a more diverse and self-sufficient British economy.
Impose 250% Tariffs on Chinese Steel
We would follow the example of other developed countries in imposing high tariffs on imported Chinese steel to protect against the dumping of cheap steel, and together with new shipbuilding and other projects use this to revive Britain’s steel industry.
British Businesses First for Public Contracts
We would give priority to British organisations, public or private, placing bids for public contracts, to help British business grow and compete with multinationals. Government-funded projects must also give priority for contracts to British companies.
Protect Public Investment in Business
We would ensure that no company which has received public subsidies is sold to a foreign company for a period of at least five years after the last subsidy received.