It is now taken-as-read that during the past decade, we have been over-reliant on public sector spending, financial services and consumption for our economic development. Those days are now gone, and we must once again return manufacturing to the heart of the British economy as a driver of growth, exports and wealth creation.

Many commentators have stated that we must export our way out of recession. However, this will not be possible without a renaissance in the part of the economy that actually makes something – our manufacturing industries. However, in 2009 we operated a traded goods deficit of £81bn with the rest of the world. While it is true that during the past decade we have seen a surplus in traded services, when financial services and insurance are stripped out of this, our competitive advantage in services is negligible. Service exports will also never be able to make up for our enormous deficit in goods gathered through an exponential rise in imports since 2000.