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  • Writer's pictureJohn J Lowe

Will Brexit's legacy create a mentality of insularism or expansionism within the UK community?

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

We have experienced a high-profile drumroll for the return of the blue passport; at last we can now have our sovereignty back was the emotive reaction.

On the commercial side we shall be trading on different platforms. We shall focus more on the WTO as our dominant vehicle but cannot shut the door on the EU nor will they wish to eliminate us from one of their strongest market outlets. We shall also establish individual deals directly with international customers.

So you could conclude that the blue passport will potentially create insularism but the widening of the commercial markets will encourage more openness.

Money talks

I believe that money will eventually play the dominant role and dictate the ultimate pace and outcome of the negotiations. We had a £3 billion trade deficit to Germany recently and it is not commercially realistic that the EU will create trade barriers which will adversely affect the current trading platform particularly as Germany is such an affluent and influential member

Global markets need global players. Our fast forward, technology-led commercial dynamism needs flexible, nimble players. The winners will be opportunistic and innovative. If this reality becomes apparent to the UK community, they will perceive the EU as more of a self-indulgent albatross which is out of pace with global markets.

It is not do or die

The media does not help as it reports the negotiations on a blow by blow basis exaggerating every tittle tattle as some significant policy statement when it is no more than some politician boosting their home votes.  Our media are experts at exaggeration and drama seeking. Debate does not enter the fray. Substitute balance for distortion and evocative sound bites.

It is fascinating how the Brexit or Wrexit is constantly being portrayed rightly or wrongly as a win or lose situation, a recovery or a disaster rather than being synonymous with a successful company which is negotiating the pathway and journey to achieve new market opportunities.

Reality check

We will not sever our ties with our existing trading partners rather, being on a world stage, we will develop new links which may better suit our modus operandi - less insular and more of a reaching out mentality.

The EU and the UK are on a journey of discovery. Serious negotiations have not yet taken place and when there are issues which adversely affect an individual country then the European Council will come into play. Heads of governments have their political career to promote or protect and they have the clout to be obstructive. And this is a very different dynamic to the day to day negotiations. Ultimately the Country Heads of the European Councils will determine the outcome. The UK will continue to seek new markets and the EU will learn from the negotiations to be more adaptive and less self-seeking.

The staying in or leaving the EU has so far developed into an argumentative, opinionated accusatory scenario which creates entrenched views.

At the end of the day…

Will Brexit's legacy create a mentality of economic insularism or expansionism? The obvious answer would be to say that the journey will involve a new exploratory mentality but as none of us really knows the destination we must say we do not know. We do know that the media generally must look for topical soundbites creating entrenched views and it is likely that this type of information presentation will promote and provoke insularism and deter a platform of balanced debate. But at the end of the day the money will do the talking and not the politics.

And as a high profile german politician pointed out to their Parliament the EU should be adopting a policy of facilitation and mediation to ensure the EU mitigates the loss of one of their most influential and economically powerful members.

Lets hope then that the journey will promote an awareness for the need of toleration and openness and the realisation that all successful negotiations are based on compromises from all parties.

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