Brexit and Baloney
I keep telling myself how its important to keep a sense of perspective over Brexit.
That’s tougher than it sounds when some baloney merchant pops up on social media after the Article 50 signing with the statement: “WE WON, YOU LOST!!!”
I just had to ask what the hell they thought that meant.
I mean, leaving aside the “get on with it” stuff - as if dismantling forty-something years of interlinked institutions is as simple as switching electricity suppliers - how does the situation in any way resemble a success?
Plans to adopt 12,000 pieces of current EU legislation as UK law sounds suspiciously to me like switching the label rather than taking back control.
Then there’s the absence of any pledges to limit immigration or put additional resources into the NHS.
So, what’s it all about then?
According to Mike from Romford, who I watched in a TV studio discussion, it’s a matter of wanting the UK to be “more international”. I guess he felt being part of a treaty with 27 European nations didn’t count.
Of course, he was talking about the Commonwealth.
It evidently has yet to dawn on ‘winners’ like Mike however that he is pinning his hopes on a post-colonial concept where the main players have moved on significantly thanks to the realities of economic globalisation.
Indeed, our newly re-discovered Commonwealth buddies are just as likely to regard free movement of workers as a pre-condition for any tasty trade deals.
Theresa May has kicked off the two-year extrication process with a letter clearly aimed more at UK readers than anyone across the English Channel.
She herself is headed for uncertain waters and the only thing that can be counted upon is that whatever she achieves; most of us will feel she got it wrong.
Like I said, it’s all about perspective. Brexit isn’t a huge deal for city interests. It’s simply a matter of opening a Brussels office and passing on the costs.
The punters won’t notice as they’ll be too busy defending Gibraltar – even if 98% of the rock’s inhabitants did vote to stay in the EU.
Opening up the City Deal to business
The Swansea Bay City Deal has been signed. Now the work starts in earnest on delivering what has been described as a "seismic shift" in economic and social wellbeing strategy.
Around £1.3bn of public and private resources will be injected into a series of innovative projects across south-west Wales. The initiative has the potential to affect every business interest in the region regardless of size or sector.
An exposition evening is scheduled for 13 April at the Village Hotel, SA1 Waterfront.
Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart, Prof Marc Clement of Swansea University and the ARCH project, Jen Clay, CEO TechHub Swansea and Ben Cottam, FSB-Wales will outline the ambition involved and share their expectations for the next steps.
Booking for seats has been brisk but you can still register over the next few days.
To register, click on the image above or here.