Westminster warning

CBI chief says UK risks a year of ‘lost opportunities’

Rain Newton-Smith: we need to regain our voice

CBI chief executive Rain Newton-Smith has warned that the UK cannot afford for 2024 to be shaped by “low growth and lost opportunities.”   

Ms Newton-Smith says the UK needs to “regain its voice” and is calling for a political consensus on boosting business investment, upgrading infrastructure, green growth and incentivising R&D.

She will tell the CBI’s General Election Countdown conference: “The UK is a nation of storytellers. I say it honestly as the daughter of a writer and a philosopher.

“And I’m not just talking about William Shakespeare or Zadie Smith, or Dylan Thomas as the nation’s great storytellers when I do.   

“I mean innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders. The people in this room. Each able to talk about ideas that sparked innovations and created businesses that have changed history and improved people’s lives.   

“But it does feel to me lately that the UK is a nation of storytellers who have lost their voice.   

“The potential is there – and our analysis backs this up – to tell a more positive UK story. To find our voice again.

“My call today to the Conservatives, to Labour – and every party campaigning in next year’s expected general election – is this: don’t let the story of 2024, and the decade to come, be a UK story of low growth and lost opportunities.  

“Work with us, with business, to make this the UK decade of sustainable growth and opportunity. That strengthens our resilience to challenges now and in the future. ”

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