Sunak’s Green Reforms: A Car Crash Policy? mdi-fullscreen

Guido is not instinctively against the government’s plan to relax the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales – it’s the kind of thing the Conservatives should have been saying for years. Unfortunately for the government, a lot of other people do not agree – and they’re all on the media this morning…

Number 10 is attempting to show there is life in the building by making a significant policy change – yet because Downing Street has made ‘certainty’ and ‘stability’ their calling card, any move is causing greater than usual upset. After a number of leaks, including to the Mail on Sunday and the BBC, officials are now frantically accelerating Sunak’s speech relaxing green policies, possibly to today – not least because of the commercial sensitivity in leaving a vacuum on the details. The problem is that the leaks mean the government has already lost control of the steering wheel…

The motoring lobby – which is usually pretty Conservative – is slamming the move because it is messing with their fine-tuned future balance sheets. Car giant Ford says:

“Our business needs three things from the UK government, ambition, commitment, and consistency… A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three”

The Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders says:

“[we] continue to invest billions of pounds into these new technologies, electrified vehicles, battery vehicles, both abroad and here in the UK… We don’t quite know what’s going to happen now.”

It is likely industry as a whole will entirely reject the government’s move; businesses have simply been told for too long to pivot to green manufacturing, often at huge capital costs which they now cannot turn their back on overnight. On the Tory benches, there are initial signs of problems, at least from the vocal zealously green MPs. Chris Skidmore, who chaired the government’s own review into Net Zero, has threatened a no confidence letter:

Meanwhile former COP26 president Alok Shama says:

“The UK has been a leader on climate action but we cannot rest on our laurels. For any party to resile from this agenda will not help economically or electorally.”

The initial reaction is enough to make Guido wonder if the policy package will be quietly wound down or changed. So much for the adults restoring stability… 


Boris Johnson has entered the fray, saying:

The green Industrial Revolution is already generating huge numbers of high quality jobs and helping to drive growth and level up our country. Business and industry – such as motor manufacturing – are rightly making vast investments in these new technologies. It is crucial that we give those businesses confidence that government is still committed to Net Zero and can see the way ahead. We cannot afford to falter now or in any way lose our ambition for this country.”



mdi-tag-outline Electric Cars Environment
mdi-account-multiple-outline Alok Sharma Chris Skidmore Rishi Sunak
mdi-timer September 20 2023 @ 09:40 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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