Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, criticised the Government’s Industrial Strategy in the House of Commons during last night’s Budget debate.
He told the House that although Cambridge is successful, and is mentioned prolifically in the Industrial Strategy document, there is no guarantee that this will continue after Brexit if safeguards are not put in place to support those working in the city, and in Life Sciences around the country.
He cited the recent Telegraph article describing Johnson & Johnson’s decision to pull its plan for a new UK plant near Cambridge.
He said, “the missing element in all of this is the people. The reason why these industries are successful in Cambridge is that people can come and go freely. In the context of Brexit, that will be a real challenge. In every lab I go to, I find people from other parts of the world, but they are leaving, and the next generation is not coming. The industrial strategy has to be seen in that context. What makes people come here? Good schools, but there is nothing in the Budget, as hon. Friends have pointed out, to improve schools.”
Daniel comments, “a great city council and excellent local initiatives who want to build more housing and improve public services, are being continually let down by a Government that refuses to invest in people’s lives but continues to prioritise its own ideology at risk of making the most vulnerable in our society poorer. This Government still looks after the elite at the top, whilst leaving most people to struggle.
I fear that even the new transport links announcements for Cambridge – Oxford should be received with caution. With such a weak Government more concentrated on its internal squabbles then channelling success for the country, I think governance complexity will make progress on this project slow and stilted.”
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