Theresa May has said she wants to boost productivity and spending on infrastructure as she steps into the prime minister’s shoes.
In a speech in Birmingham to launch her leadership bid, before her rival Andrea Leadsom dropped out, May outlined her plans to revamp business in the UK.
May, who was a sponsor of the Modern Slavery Act as home secretary, said she wanted to see improvements to energy policy and corporate governance, as well as more mutuals to run public services.
“I want to see an energy policy that emphasises the reliability of supply and lower costs for users,” she said.
“A better research and development policy that helps firms to make the right investment decisions. More Treasury-backed project bonds for new infrastructure projects. More house building. A proper industrial strategy to get the whole economy firing.”
May said she wanted to “put people back in control”. “As the government reforms public services, we should encourage public sector workers to set up mutuals,” she said. “As we take infrastructure decisions – like with new housing, roads, or exploration for oil and gas – the benefits should be shared not just with local authorities but with local people themselves.”
May also said she would be “getting tough with irresponsible behaviour in big business” by making shareholder votes on executive pay binding, cracking down on tax avoidance, ensuring markets are competitive and introducing consumer and employee representation on boards.
May said there would be no going back on Brexit. “Brexit means Brexit,” she said. “And we’re going to make a success of it. There will be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it by the back door, and no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union, and as prime minister I will make sure that we leave the European Union.”
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