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Ambitions and challenges

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Stephen Elliott shared some political and economic context related to the chemical industry’s fortunes.
He outlined some of the immediate challenges as the UK emerged from both Brexit and the pandemic. He also focussed on the long-term outlook and opportunities for sustained growth in UK chemicals trade and investment.
“With nine million children recently heading back to school across England, September is seeing a significant return to the workplace (admittedly with hybrid models) and Parliament reconvening after its summer recess,” said Elliott in his headline speech at CHEMUK 2021, .
“The theme of ‘re-start’ is very much in the air. For Boris Johnson and his government that restart sees a very challenging autumn and winter ahead.
“Steering the country through COVID-19 and avoiding further lockdown remains a key priority, but with 2020/21 borrowing at £376 billion (€437 billion) and public spending at a peacetime high of 52% of GDP (it was only 46% when we went cap-in-hand to the IMF in 1976) there is increasing political and economic pressure to begin balancing the books.”
Elliott highlighted the fact that the UK was now...

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