Britain’s shadow finance minister on Tuesday lambasted the country’s business environment under the current Conservative government, saying that companies currently deciding whether to invest in the U.K. or in the U.S. faced “a no-brainer” decision.
The Labour Party’s Rachel Reeves, who is vying for the top finance job at the next election, said that initiatives like the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act put the country at a clear advantage, and that Britain needs to create a similarly attractive framework for business investment.
“Businesses say to me: if we’ve got a choice between investing in the U.S. or investing in the U.K., I’m afraid, at the moment, it’s a no-brainer,” Reeves said at a conference hosted by the Chartered Management Institute.
“The deeper capital markets, as well as the government support for those growing industries, means investment in the U.S. makes sense in a way that it does not in the U.K.,” she said.
Reeves said that under Labour leadership, Britain would implement a “modern industrial strategy” encouraging the government and businesses to work in partnership. She did not give specific details of such a plan.
The opposition politician added that feats such as the U.K.’s record Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine rollout would not have been possible, were it not for longstanding partnerships between Britain’s universities and businesses.
“At a time of huge change, we’ve got to have a business and government partnership to seize some of these big opportunities that are out there for the taking,” she said.
“I don’t want to find ourselves, in 30 years’ time, looking back and wondering why we are importing all of our vehicles because we didn’t make the batteries here, why we are importing our steel because we didn’t move to green steel, why we’re importing our gas because we didn’t invest in hydrogen today.”