Labour would oversee more active state on economy, says shadow minister

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People do not yet understand “the scale of Labour’s ambition on the economy,” a frontbencher has said as he promised a “more active state” if the party wins the next general election.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds told the Observer that the party has “components in place” that represent “a very different approach to the economy” than under the Conservatives and even the last Labour government.

The shadow Cabinet is “talking about an economy that will deliver for working people to a much greater extent”, he said in the interview.

“Where we are now is at a level of public support and business support which I’m not sure many people thought we could have delivered in the aftermath of 2019 on this timescale,” the senior shadow minister said.

“One thing we’ve struggled with, in my view, is that we’ve got a lot of very good policy that maybe hasn’t yet described the sum of its parts.

“In other words, I think what Keir’s missions do, especially the mission on the economy, is to take a lot of existing policies and explain them in a way that comes across with a degree of ambition I think we need, and that we can add to over the next 18 months to help deliver.

“I feel people do not yet understand the scale of Labour’s ambition on the economy.

“I think we’ve got some components in place, which represent a very different approach to the economy from what we’ve seen, not just from the Tories but actually from the last Labour government.

“To deliver things like net zero, you have to have a more active state.

“As it stands, people maybe don’t appreciate that to the same degree that those of us inside the shadow cabinet do.

“But be in no doubt that we are talking about an economy that will deliver for working people to a much greater extent.”

Labour could make “significant improvements” to the UK’s relationship with the EU, Mr Reynolds also said.

He rejected claims that the party lacks political courage in talking about the issues caused by Brexit.

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