BREXIT – and the Government’s mishandling of negotiations – is laying the basis for a long term decline in the British economy. This is the view of Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Shadow Business Secretary in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
Her comments came as official figures – often taken as a barometer of the health of the economy – showed that the number of new cars sold in the UK last year fell for the first time in six years.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released official figures showing that some 2.5 million cars were registered last year – around 5.7% down on 2016. They SMMT was not too despondent, claiming that last year was still the third best this decade.
Buyers drifted away from buying diesel cars towards traditional petrol powered vehicles – no doubt thanks to the bad publicity diesel cars have received since it has been admitted that they contribute to air pollution. However, the shift means that the new vehicles unleashed onto the road last year will see CO2 emissions increase.
Rebecca Long-Bailey was not convinced. “The Government’s mismanagement of the economy and mishandling of the Brexit negotiations has shaken consumer and business confidence and it’s concerning that the sales of new cars are falling,” she said. “The industry has been warning the Government time and time again and, as has become typical with the Tories, they have failed to listen or take action.
“The British car industry is a vital part of our economy, directly employing up to 170,000 people. Labour’s Industrial Strategy will set out a radical programme of investment and genuine partnership between industry and government, to protect vital jobs and build an economy that works for the many, not the few.”