Success in London feeds through into more jobs and prosperity for the whole country, and there is no false choice between the two, the CBI’s Director-General will say today (27th June).
At the CBI’s annual London Lunch, held at the IET London: Savoy Place and sponsored by AON plc, Carolyn Fairbairn will also call for the Mayor of London to lead a new era of co-operation among the new metro areas, promoting ideas and investment that help different regions of the country.
The Editor of the London Evening Standard, George Osborne CH, will also be speaking at the Lunch.
On London’s contribution to the rest of the UK’s economy, Carolyn will say:
“Success in London creates jobs and prosperity from John O’Groats to Land’s End. But there seems to me a danger today, of the point being missed. A danger of the UK behaving as a nation of independent city states all scrabbling for resources at each other’s expense.
“If we’re serious about succeeding post-Brexit not, just as a city but as a nation, then we must reject the false choice between London and the rest of the country.
“Because investment here means growth and investment across other regions too. And vice versa. And we need to do more to make that even more true.
“When London is properly linked to the rest of the UK via the flow of people, goods and services every region benefits.
“There are two big examples: infrastructure and skills. On the first, it is great news that the expansion of Heathrow has finally, finally got the green light - 50 years in the making. Three very big cheers. And let's not forget that the sooner work begins here, the sooner its economic benefit can be felt elsewhere.
“The second massive way London contributes to the health of the entire economy is skills. Look at the new Skills for Londoners fund of £110m, invested in estate and equipment for local skills providers. Clearly, London benefits from these grants. But equally clear is the benefit to the aeronautical hub of the South West, the creative hub of Glasgow, and the digital hub of Manchester to name but three."
On the role of the Mayor of London, Carolyn will say:
“The UK’s unprecedented challenges need an unprecedented solution – a new kind of leadership from London.
“Today, Sadiq Kahn is almost exactly at the half-way point in his term as mayor. He became mayor at a time when the rest of the UK was asserting its right to decide its own affairs. Through new mayors, LEPs, new transport bodies.
“I think there’s a real opportunity here – for Sadiq to lead a new era of co-operation among the new metropolitan areas. To promote ideas and investment that help multiple regions. To make the UK more than the sum of its parts.
“The public would back him. Our cities would back him. Business would certainly back him. It’s an economic necessity. One UK, one strategy, with London bringing its extraordinary power to multiply benefits across the whole country.”