Ninety per cent of firms said in a recent survey that the UK’s industrial strategy will drive up living standards but only if given the priority it needs by the Govermnent.

The CBI survey of more than 400 firms shows there is strong consensus amongst firms (82%) that the main pillars of the new industrial strategy need to be people, infrastructure and innovation. They say that all three need to be transformed to power a new, modern economy and the CBI recommends the creation of an independent Industrial Strategy body that could measure, advise and build confidence.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “The aim is to enable British firms to compete and win in the new technology age. It is also urgent. Change is coming at lightning speed and the world won’t wait for Britain.

“This means we can’t afford to let Brexit distract from the long-term action that is so badly needed. What’s at stake is the UK’s future in a global economy redefined by artificial intelligence and automation. Brexit must not be allowed to crowd this out.

“Firms agree on what matters most: transforming the UK’s skills base, modernising its physical and digital infrastructure and accelerating innovation. But they also agree that catching up is not enough.” We could not agree more. We see the beneficial effect of digital technology every day through our work helping companies streamline their manufacturing processes.

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