Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyns campaign to bring more manufacturing back to the U.K. amounts to “protectionism” and is “not the way forward,” the business organization Institute of Directors said Tuesday.
Corbyn launched his partys so-called Build it in Britain plan for a post-Brexit U.K. Tuesday in a speech to business leaders in Birmingham, condemning outsourcing practices and saying a lack of support for the sector is “sucking the dynamism out of our economy.”
“It must be our job in government to reprogram our economy so that it stops working for the few and begins working for the many,” Corbyn said. “That is why we will build things here again that for too long have been built abroad because we have failed to invest. Doing this will allow us to have greater control over the economy.”
The Institute of Directors responded by comparing the plan to U.S. President Donald Trumps policies.
“Protectionism, it seems, is back in fashion. For all the criticism of Americas current approach to trade in this speech, the proposals of subsidies and buying British are just as protectionist as tariffs,” said the business groups director general, Stephen Martin, in a statement.
“Britain has many fantastic manufacturing firms, but the fetishisation of factories and production lines over all other parts of the economy is misguided.”
Conservative politician Robert Jenrick called the initiative “laughable” and argued Labour was responsible for a decline in manufacturing, the BBC reported.
The Liberal Democrats also criticized Corbyns plan in a tweet, saying hes “living in a world of alternative facts.”