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Britain to boost competitiveness and science

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1353

The British government this week reviewed its progress with attempting to reverse long term decline in the country's competitiveness and emphasised its commitment to science and innovation at a press conference led by the prime minister and including five cabinet ministers. This matters to health professionals because, as John Major, the prime minister, said: “Unless we can create the conditions for strong and sustainable growth no government will be able to improve education and health, maintain strong defence, increase pensions, or provide care in the community.”

“UK Plc,” as it was called by Michael Heseltine, president of the Board of Trade, has been in decline for a century. The “competitiveness gap” between the UK and other major economies has become pronouced since 1945. The UK fell from third in real income per head …

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