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Brexit winning out?

There are those who smoke, those who have never smoked and those who have given up. Those who have given up are often convinced advocates for not smoking. Okay, I admit it, I voted to Remain but as I also subsequently admitted, had there been an “r” in the month I could have voted to Leave. Did that make me a fence-sitter? Probably but I was concerned that the good we have experienced being an open country with Europe outweighed the problems we experienced from Europe.

I have since become, like those who have given up smoking, an advocate for Brexit and the more I hear of the shenanigans the more I am convinced that the 52% did us a favour.

Larry Elliot in The Guardian (not noted for its pro-Brexit stance) highlighted that Britain’s annual trade deficit is £135 billion and rising. Many reasons lie behind this but Mr Elliot points out that one reason is our membership of the EU because its trading arrangements were designed to suit other countries, not the UK. Barriers to the trading of goods were swept away (great for Germany) but not services (better for the UK). We do have a surplus of services to the EU and we do sell more to the rest of the world than we buy from it but we still have a vast deficit with Europe due in part to the inequitable trading arrangements on services. Not satisfied with playing with loaded dice, the EU would have our services too. If they pull a high percentage of services from London a £ to a penny says that the trading arrangements in services will change.

As Larry Elliot said; “weighing up the pros and cons of joining a club whose trading rules amplified our weaknesses and nullified our strengths”, would we really “be gagging to join?”

Meanwhile, the interim arrangements, while not ideal, are inevitable and right for business. There are those who will pull us in an extreme and irrelevant direction (like the advocates of a colour of passport we never had…..we could have kept or opted for whatever colour of passport we wanted even in Europe) but the essence of good manners, an ability to accommodate what others regard as normality which may not be our own and keen business sense will help us and the EU to a mutually advantageous outcome……….I hope.


Mark S. Hanson BSc FRICS

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