UK commits billions to ‘industries of future’

LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May (pictured)on Monday announced £4 billion ($5.28 billion) of spending on research and development and regional growth strategies, setting out plans to help the economy grow after Brexit. Amid stiff international competition, Britain is looking to carve out a new global role as a leader in “industries of the future” such as artificial intelligence and driverless cars after it exits the European Union in March 2019.
Badly damaged by a botched snap election and with Brexit talks running behind schedule, May is looking to stir up some economic optimism to help her fragile minority government through Britain’s most uncertain period since World War Two. On Monday, as part of the run-up to finance minister Philip Hammond’s budget on Wednesday, she announced a £1.7 billion fund to help regenerate cities and a £2.3 billion boost to research and development spending, due in 2021/22. Further details of the funding were not yet available. “This is a new long-term approach to shaping a stronger and fairer economy for decades to come,” May said in a Times newspaper article. — Reuters