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Industrial Policy in the Context of Brexit

Nicholas Crafts
Journal article | Fiscal Studies

This paper reviews UK industrial policy in the context of Brexit and weak productivity performance. It considers proposals made in a recent White Paper as well as more general arguments for reform now that the ‘post‐Thatcher consensus’ has ended. The desirability of improving horizontal policies in the areas of innovation, infrastructure and skills is noted. In the event of a hard Brexit, there would be an opportunity to return to 1970s‐style selective industrial policies and public‐interest‐based competition policy. An advantage of a soft Brexit is that it would preclude interventionism of this kind.