In her first address to the CBI Annual Conference later today, Prime Minister Theresa May is to reveal a £2 billion annual research boost, as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.
It is being suggested that May will use her speech to outline the ways her government will step up to the task and get the economy back on track by announcing plans to secure the long term commitment of the UK to innovation and research.
Included in this will be significant real terms increases in government investment worth £2 billion each year by 2020 for development and research. This is said to ensure that British business will stay at the cutting edge of scientific and technological discovery.
Furthermore, the PM will announce a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to support priority technologies, such as robotics and biotechnology, where the UK has the potential to turn strengths in research into a global industrial and commercial lead.
It is expected that May will say: “Our modern Industrial Strategy will be ambitious for business and ambitious for Britain.
“It is a new way of thinking for government – a new approach. It is about government stepping up, not stepping back, building on our strengths, and helping Britain overcome the long-standing challenges in our economy that have held us back for too long.
“It is about making the most of the historic opportunity we now have to signal an important, determined change.”
Meanwhile, May hinted that she could pursue an interim Brexit deal with the EU as part of the UK’s exit negotiations.
The Prime Minister was grilled over an apparent call from the group’s president Paul Drechsler for a stopgap arrangement with Brussels.
Asked whether she would back a transitional period between the end of Article 50 negotiations and a permanent new relationship between the UK and the EU, Mrs May said: “Obviously as we look at the negotiation, we want to get the arrangement that is going to work best for the UK and the arrangement that’s going to work best for business in the UK.