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Euroscepticism is Destroying Long Term Manufacturing Growth, Mr Hague

May 13, 2012

William Hague has updated Norman Tebbitt’s “on your bike” exhortation from the 1980s. The Telegraph reports:

In a blunt message to the country’s bosses, he said they should stop complaining and get on with the business of wealth creation.

His comments, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, are a direct riposte to business leaders who criticised the lack of measures for economic growth in the Queen’s Speech.

“There’s only one growth strategy: work hard,” Mr Hague said. “I think they should be getting on with the task of creating more of those jobs and more of those exports, rather than complaining about it.”

Asked if his comments could be compared to Lord Tebbit’s “on your bike” message to the unemployed in the 1980s, Mr Hague said: “It’s more than that. It’s ‘Get on the plane, go and sell things overseas, go and study overseas’.

I think that William Hague is talking directly to UK manufacturers like me. The business I own is a niche market industrial textiles business in Rochdale. We are between the textile and rubber industries, supplying into aerospace, automotive and heat protection.

I have understood a couple of years ago that the UK manufacturing base is now too small for my business to survive long into the future. Turning the business into a European business is my priority.

The bad news is that William Hague’s xenophobia and euroscepticism is making exporting harder. I’ll be exporting to the Eurozone, my customers will be paying in Euros. Being a manufacturer in Britain sometimes feels like being in the mid-Atlantic. Exporting for my business is not about marginal competitiveness when £ Sterling devalues or appreciates against the Euro or Dollar. Manufacturing is a long term business, it is more than anything about trading and competitive stability.

It isn’t easy for manufacturers to build long term technical and supply relationships with Eurozone companies while the Conservative Party is preaching nationalism and cutting constructive links with our European partners. All that will happen, and is happening, is that international companies are moving their manufacturing into the Eurozone and into countries that are better linked into the Eurozone.

William Hague’s hope is that the Euro collapses. Scarcely a day goes by without the shrill doom laden carping from British eurosceptics. But when it doesn’t?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2012 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the epic laughs man. I’ve never read anything so batshit crazy in my life, you really have lightened up my day!

  2. May 13, 2012 3:09 pm

    I’m delighted to have the support ( ! ) of a UKIP supporter – mkpdavies. Cheers!

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