“If we are serious about exports, we have to change the culture. UK governments for the last generation have favoured the service sector and dismissed manufacturing as…something we can buy-in from overseas,” said Mr Mawdsley. “[They] have been quite happy to see industry run down and replaced by cheaper imports, but they have been very concerned about the prospect of city institutions and banks relocating to Hong Kong.”
One of Norfolk’s fastest growing exporters, pet food manufacturer Natures Menu, based in Watton, said exporting would be easier if complex paperwork outside the EU was cut.
“Selling in the EU is easy. Being part of the EU is very important for us,” said Peter Roy, business development director. “But getting accreditation for our products outside the EU is much harder. It could be easier.”