Article: King’s Speech Increases Uncertainty for Business


We live in unpredictable and challenging times, where it’s difficult to maintain business competitiveness and take good decisions because policy keeps changing.

Yesterday’s King’s Speech at the opening of a new Parliament is a good example of this, because it increased rather than decreased uncertainly for business.

With the major economic blocs in the US and EU now using the transition to net zero to justify subsidies to local industry, increase industrial competitiveness and protectionism (through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Green Industrial Deal) the UK government sought to take a firm step in the opposite direction. The problem with this is not the direction, it is the constant policy changes and vacillation, and the contrast with the more stable conditions faced by our global competitors.

The real challenge for Black Country business is that the one certainty about our future – especially now - is change. And this is not just slight change; if we are to make a successful transition to a low carbon economy we face massive change – to our energy system, to our transport system, to our supply chains. We need government, local communities and industry to work together in the face of this change and global competition, and we need each of these groups to have some understanding of what the other two need.

This is why one of the most important things the Black Country Industrial Cluster seeks to do for its members is to give them the best possible understanding of what governments and politicians are planning and what global competitors are doing.

We also try to focus on commercial opportunities as well as threats, and how the Black Country might benefit from increased demand for lower carbon products and services.

There are many opportunities for all of us out there, and our recent experience with the Repowering the Black Country Project  has demonstrated one way this can work well for this region.