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Something has got to give

Can the government square the circle between its plans for R&D and its electoral coalition?

As Emma Hardy, Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle, takes up the role of shadow minister for further and higher education today, she may be forgiven for thinking that now Boris Johnson has a parliamentary majority of 80, he can do what he likes. Not quite. There is a significant tension in the priorities that the government must address, and it is one that will need to be negotiated with some care.

First, there is the post-Brexit economy and what the government intends to do about it. For some time, the only credible plan put forward by the Conservatives has been the industrial strategy with its emphasis on the target of 2.4 per cent of GDP invested in R&D.

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