The House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government’s industrial strategy. The launch follows the rebranding of the UK’s business department and Theresa May’s support for greater collaboration and government involvement in the development of a ‘comprehensive industrial strategy’.

Echoing the Prime Minister’s views and the Government’s enhanced commitment to economic reform, Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business Innovation and Skills Committee, has described May’s industrial strategy pledge as a necessity for a modern, innovative and competitive economy.

Broadly, the scope of the inquiry is to consider the Government’s interpretation of industrial strategy and question how interventionist in the free market it should be.

The Committee is currently inviting written submissions, sent via the Committee’s inquiry page, until 27 September 2016 on a number of questions, including the following:

What does the Government mean by industrial strategy, and what does the private sector want from one?

How interventionist in the free market should Government be in implementing an industrial strategy, for example in preventing foreign takeovers of UK companies?

What lessons can be learnt from:

  • Previous governments’ industrial strategies?
  • Other countries’ attempts to develop industrial strategies?

What tensions exist between the objectives of an industrial strategy and the objectives of other policies, and how should the Government address these tensions?

What are the pros and cons of an industrial strategy adopting a sectoral approach?

  • If not a sectoral approach, should the industrial strategy have a broader objective, such as improving productivity?

Should the industrial strategy have a geographical emphasis?