CBI conference

CBI chief calls for end to UK’s ‘branch line economy’

Tony Danker: shot at redemption

CBI director general Tony Danker today told business leaders that the UK has a “shot at redemption” after offering areas of the country little more than “benign neglect”.

Responding to the government’s “levelling up” agenda, he said that it cannot be left to the free market, with the regions that suffered from de-industrialisation during the Thatcher years now part of a “branch line economy”.

This year’s CBI conference is taking place over three days, at eight locations across the country.

Speaking in Port of Tyne, Mr Danker, Mr Danker said: “Since the 1980s, we let old industries die – offering little more than benign neglect for what got left behind – it was an economic policy that was ambivalent about levelling down.”

The CBI wants former industrial heartlands, such as the north east of England, to have a role in transitioning to a less polluting economy, with clusters of activity in hydrogen – which could replace gas as a domestic fuel – offshore wind, and carbon capture.

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