Labour to place support for manufacturing at the centre of approach to Brexit

Labour has not given the Government a blank cheque on Brexit, shadow chancellor John McDonnell will say.

Mr McDonnell will tell a manufacturing conference in London on Wednesday that he wants to ensure such a key sector of the economy gets access to the single market after withdrawal from the EU.

He will say: "Labour voted to give the Government authority to begin that process, but we have not handed them a blank cheque.

"The next two years or more will involve intense negotiations and scrutiny of the Government and other positions.

"Amongst all the many interpretations of the vote to leave the EU, it is clear to all sides that it was a vote for change.

"The status quo is no longer an option. We have to now do things differently from the past.

"That means a recognition once more that securing the prosperity of our manufacturing sector is the key to securing the prosperity of the wider economy.

"Labour will place support for our manufacturing sector at the centre of its approach to Brexit, and at the heart of its economic policy making.

"We can build on the success that is already out there and develop a 'British Mittelstand': high-investment, high-productivity smaller firms that provide high-quality employment in those sectors where we have the greatest potential like high-value added manufacturing.

"There is the potential here, as the fourth industrial revolution gets under way, for a manufacturing renaissance that can transform the potential not of those places and regions already succeeding, but of those areas that have been left behind for too long."

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