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Don't get blindsided over EU, warns Goldmans' O'Neill

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Don't get blindsided over EU, warns Goldmans' O'Neill

Goldman Sachs chair Jim O'Neill has urged UK manufacturers not to get 'blindsided' by Europe.

O'Neill warned British manufacturers would be better off improving relations with the Brics, rather than focusing exclusively on repairing trade lines with the battered single currency bloc.

Speaking at the EEF manufacturing conference, O'Neill said: 'Given the speed of growth in China and others, I don't think we can afford to have our opportunities constrained.

'While our position with the eurozone is of number one importance, we should not get blindsided as that being the key for our export future,' O'Neill added.

Turning to other parts of the economy, the respected retiring economist also warned the government off policies that could prove harmful.

These included tightening up on immigration and slashing the deficit too quickly.

Chancellor George Osborne (pictured) is already under pressure to ensure the UK's recovery stays on track, particularly after Britain was stripped of its AAA status.

Other economies like the US have been slower to introduce spending cuts, and while this did not shield it from ratings agency downgrades, it seems to have paid off in the longer term.

O'Neill urged that when it came to growth, a rising work force could be beneficial, and warned Osborne not to pursue policies that would 'impede' the economy.

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