New investment in British industry

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The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

DESPITE, or possibly because of the referendum result, GlaxoSmithKline, the sixth largest pharmaceutical company in the world does not intend to move new business outside of the UK but will invest a further £275 million (€325 million) in expanding its UK manufacturing base as it still believes that Britain is a good country to trade in.

When announcing this decision, CEO Sir Andrew Witty said that a combination of a skilled workforce and an attractive tax regime meant that Britain was still a good base for the company even after Brexit and he was a well-publicised Remainer.

By increasing production, most of which will be for export, the company expects not only to increase its turnover but to be able to afford to increase staffing levels and it is proud of the fact that with this latest proposed spend, it will have invested £1 billion (€1.2 billion) in expansion within the UK in just the last six years.

Rather than create new factories, the money will be used to expand existing sites in County Durham, Hertfordshire and Scotland where it already employs 6,000 people in direct manufacturing.

This news, following the news that the British economy has expanded during the last six months, was welcomed by all, including the government and Greg Clark, the Business and Energy Secretary, commented that “An investment of this scale is a clear vote of confidence in Britain and underlines our position as a global business leader.

“GSK’s recognition of our skilled workforce, world leading scientific capabilities and competitive tax environment is further proof that there really is no place better in Europe to grow a business.”

Whilst the recent growth in the economy has brought a smile to the faces of many politicians, it should be noted that May and June did see a slow-down in growth and the figures following the referendum result are still to be compiled and will be indicative of how British and Foreign business has really reacted.

It could be a very tough few months for the economy or hopefully, the markets will find some other event or country to panic over and the British economy will carry on regardless.

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