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Gloucestershire Business News

Renationalisation would cause immense damage says business leader

Labour's plans to renationalising large parts of our economy would cause serious harm to the UK's reputation as a place to invest and a home for business, the CBI President, Paul Drechsler, has warned.

It is a threat that ranks alongside the prospect of a hard Brexit in its damaging impact on the UK economy and reputation, he added.

In a speech to senior business leaders in central London, Mr Drechsler said that the UK remains fundamentally a great place to do business. He warned that 'era-defining choices' ahead must be made on the basis of evidence - on what is best for jobs, investment and living standards throughout the UK.

He argued that lessons must be learnt from the collapse of Carillion and a refreshed approach from the private sector and the Government is required to ensure there is a true partnership when delivering public services.

"So you want to nationalise energy, rail and water, and bring public services contracts back in-house? Let's see the evidence that it will deliver a better service to consumers at a lower cost," said Mr Drechsler (pictured right).

"Now, there are things we can agree on with Labour. Including their backing of the CBI's customs union proposal. But their policies on nationalisation aren't driven by evidence. They're driven by ideology.

"And it's our job to bring the debate back to the evidence. Since the early 1990s, private energy companies have helped us cut the UK's emissions by over 40 per cent, while our economy has grown by two thirds.

"Our clean energy industry is transforming how we power our country. The cost of offshore wind has fallen by half in the past two years alone. And it employs thousands in high-skilled jobs.

"Then there's what's been achieved by the private water companies. The quality of our water is among the best in the world. Leaks have been cut by a third.

"And in our rail industry passenger numbers have more than doubled in less than 20 years and our railways are on many measures the safest in Europe.

"In all, 45 per cent of our infrastructure investment is being delivered through private investment. Yet all these industries - energy, water and rail - are in line to be taken into state ownership under Labour."

Picture credits: Pixabay and CBI

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