UK’s Global Investment Summit is very nice – but the £29.5bn figure is pure hype | Nils Pratley

Rishi Sunak’s foreign investment claims include pledges and spending that would have happened anyway

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If you’ve hired Hampton Court Palace for your Global Investment Summit, and have King Charles lined up to serve drinks afterwards at Buckingham Palace, it is obligatory to publish a large number to demonstrate that the show was a complete triumph and the UK must be “one of the best places in the world to do business”.

Here it is: £29.5bn of new foreign investment, a figure the government reminded us is three times the sum Boris Johnson was able to champion at his equivalent summit in 2021. One can also admire the precision: £29.5bn invites less suspicion of smoke and mirrors than a round number such as £30bn.

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