The UK is too dependent on global markets. Five ways you can help fix this. 

Times of crisis often bring new clarity to things, and this current crisis shows that the UK has become too dependent on globalisation. We have some of the best medical research facilities in the world, yet we don’t have a capable medical diagnostics industry. We have world-class farmers, yet we import almost half of what we eat.

You – the consumer – can change this. What you buy from where is the key.

Food Security

In times of shock can we feed ourselves? Our food security is now at an all-time low – without imports we would only have half the food we need. It’s time to support our own farmers and fishermen by demanding their products.

The 3 largest imported food groups are fruit & vegetables, meat and drinks.

What can we do?

Buy UK:

De-Skilling

The UK is too reliant on other countries making goods for us – each time we import something we export the skills involved in making it, until we have lost those skills completely. 

Supporting our high value skills in areas such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and electronics is critical. The jobs involved are key to our ability to innovate in all sorts of areas.

Formula 1 engineering is a classic example, but while we can’t all buy a McLaren, there are still a huge number of UK companies we can support. 

What can we do?

Buy UK:

Product Miles

The 47% of food that we import comes a long way: Europe (30%), Africa (4%), North America (4%), South America (4%), Asia (4%), and Australasia (1%).

The food we import has, on average, 10 times greater Product Miles! 

So switching some of our shopping to UK producers will have big environmental benefits, and even further still, why not go really local for seasonal produce and common products such as meats, beers and gin!  

What can we do?

Buy Local:

Jobs

Buying UK-made, produced or designed goods is the surest way to protect and grow UK jobs. We will still import a huge amount of goods, and export, but even a small rebalancing will support your neighbour’s job, and yours!

And the impact is not just on the business you buy from: more local businesses means more work for accountants, IT suppliers, builders, shopkeepers and every conceivable sort of service support, from cleaners to environmental inspectors.

Each local business that succeeds leads to many other supporting jobs, keeps money coming into the community, and makes it stronger.

What can we do?

Buy UK:

Public Services

All the money spent on public services, from the NHS to schools, the police to roads, is ultimately funded by taxes linked to jobs. 

Income tax, corporation tax, VAT, National Insurance – they all depend on business. 

Successful businesses have a multiplying effect: they generally buy from other local businesses and the cycle continues with tax receipts going up and up. 

So supporting UK business is a double win: it immediately improves the lot of everyone who works and lives in the UK by keeping money recycling here, and also increases the funds available for running and developing our public services.

What can we do?

Buy anything UK:



Author:

  • Derek Poots, YouK Founder

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