debtThis has been the guiding maxim of the UK government’s national renewal policy since Brexit. They watch entrepreneurs go, go, go, reveling in the feeling of being a scientific superpower, an innovation hub, a global player, a new fountain of regulation, rather than blaming decadents. Watch them break into new markets as these great trade deals open up the world to British ingenuity.
In fact, the country went from hero to zero in a matter of months. Bankers have argued that by pushing down wages and cutting public spending, they will try to slow the economy.
This is the context in which the unfortunate story of the British Bolt should be understood. The startup was founded by him in 2019 to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles in the UK. First in South Wales (with promises of government subsidies), then in Bryce, Northumberland, again with heavy promises of subsidies. In three years, we are considering moving into administration, among other options.
Its 300 employees are half-paid and the company has been on for five weeks with a £5 million injection from one of its owners, Glencore. This is not the kind of money you need to change the world or Bryce. That’s the cost of a house in an expensive part of London. The government has not given the company the promised £100 million as an advance has been allocated for tooling equipment in the factory that has not yet been purchased.
Article after article, picture after picture of the Gigafactory as it was, said to be £1.7bn here, £3.8bn there, but the actual investment in the company was in the thousands. It looks like it went up to $100,000. Little has been said about the actual battery, but Britishvolt delayed and he sent out the first samples of his battery in September (manufactured in a development facility funded by the British government).
There may be chunks of innovative battery technology that good car and battery companies can buy. Such companies have already invested billions of dollars. But that’s the point. Make no mistake, battery production is no longer a start-up business. This is an industry with huge players, including Chinese companies and global automakers. The UK’s only large battery manufacturer is a Chinese company that supplies Nissan.
Over the last 40 years, the UK government has pursued policies based on the concept of British innovative genius. This should be leveraged through the creation of startups. The UK has long been claimed to be the world leader in battery technology, so a battery start-up was a perfect case. But as was pointed out years ago, it’s hard to be the world leader in batteries. make they. At the time, there was a certain desperation to not only take advantage of battery technology, but to do it with a British company. Adding Brexit creates Britishvolt.
The government has released grossly misleading statistics on the size of the UK tech sector, expanding the size of the digital economy by including cinemas and the size of the space economy by including terrestrial satellite TV stations and tableware installers. was expanded. There was even talk of leading the world into the 4th Industrial Revolution just as Britain led the world into the 1st Industrial Revolution.
In a recent speech, Keir Starmer correctly and clearly warned against boosterism and fantasy. But when it came to British technology, he did it himself. “The way I see it, a country is trying to lead the world in electric cars, floating offshore wind, new hydrogen and nuclear technology. Why not the UK?” I have a genius,” he claimed. He said the country would need “more innovation, more new technologies, more research and development, more liberalization of the commercial power of universities, more specialization into the knowledge-rich industries of the future, and more start-ups.” Said he needed it.
But is this correct? There are already world leaders in electric cars, offshore wind, hydrogen and nuclear power, but the UK has none. For four decades, innovation-promoting strategies have been at the heart of industrial policy, with marginal results. Productivity has stagnated him for nearly 15 years.
Workers must resist the strong temptation to try to outdo the government with tech chauvinism. Tech-bro Rishi Sunak will win the contest. The country needs a more effective alternative policy. The idea of the everyday economy, discussed by Shadow Prime Minister Rachel Reeves and mentioned many times by Starmer, provides the key. From nursing homes to the Internet, the public and private, labor-intensive Consider mimicking and innovating when needed to improve people’s lives by focusing on and capital intensive services. Recall that, far from being a pipe dream, the UK accounts for 2% to 3% of global R&D and manufacturing, with bigger and stronger competitors.
Brexit UK faked it, but it hasn’t come true. Expect a sense of balance to be brought to the British discourse, and remember that many other nations claim at least as much to be home to scientific and manufacturing geniuses. would be truly successful.