Policy for Growth

Part of Bill Presented — European Union Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:13 pm on 11th November 2010.

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Photo of Jeremy Lefroy Jeremy Lefroy Conservative, Stafford 5:13 pm, 11th November 2010

I will confine my remarks to two areas: exports, about which the hon. Members for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Tom Greatrex) and for Glasgow North East (Mr Bain) have already spoken; and access to finance, about which a number of hon. Members have spoken.

It is salutary to look at export performance over the past decade. Since 2000, Germany's share of world trade has risen by 17.9%, that of France and Italy has remained roughly the same, but the UK's share has fallen by 20%. That is partly due to the depreciation of the pound, but that is not the only reason. To put it bluntly, we have been falling behind our European neighbours and competitors. It is hardly a coincidence that the country that has concentrated most on its export markets-Germany-is the one currently experiencing the strongest growth.