What’s needed is a plan.

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But not just any old back-of-a-fag-packet job but a long-term, coherent and ideally cross-party commitment to an industrial strategy that inspires confidence and drives investment.

But who would be so demanding, and why?

Manufacturers, said David Grey in his Cutlers’ Feast speech, because they were the real route to rebalancing the economy.

He said: “If we have learned anything in the last five years it is that manufacturing is the real route to creating wealth, jobs and investment - and manufacturing is the real route to securing our position in the world.

“But to achieve those goals - we need Government to create an industrial strategy that prioritises manufacturing, implement it quickly and prosecute it ruthlessly. And if you do, we will deliver the balanced economy that this country not only desires but also deserves.”

The sector needed as much clarity and stability as was possible to make investments for the medium and long term. And a strategy had to encompass energy, skills, taxation, infrastructure and access to markets.

He added: “Every business represented in this room will recognise that a strategy starts with a vision built on core strengths, identifies the long term aim, is properly resourced, is sufficiently robust to stand short term shocks but most importantly is led from the front.

We are calling for the Government to show the same single-mindedness and strength of purpose that it has shown with its Debt Reduction Strategy. We must have a Plan A and stick to it.

“Over the years, governments have talked about efforts to revive the concept of a UK industrial strategy. To be frank, there is a view that much of this is ‘lip service’. We need more ambition, a clearer economic vision and much greater coherence across all parts of government.

Because manufacturers have to plan further than five years, Government needs to do the same. The strategy needs to be effective over more than one parliament and therefore it needs cross party agreement.”