I will admit I have absolutely no idea what the difference is between ‘Brexit’ and what the Government is calling ‘Hard Brexit’ mainly because I’m having to pick it up as I go along in the absence, just as in the Brexit Referendum debate, of a reasonable and sensible explanation from our elected politicians.
What I do know is that across the country, and by that I mean the whole of the U.K. It is becoming increasingly clear that whatever Brexit means, whether hard or soft, it is going to and in fact has already started, to cause huge economic damage.
We should perhaps start with the hospitality industry itself which bring in and estimated £130 billion a year from tourism.
The fall in the value of the pound that the Conservatives claim isn’t of great importance may well mean that it is cheaper for tourists and visitors to visit the UK, (though whether they will given the political climate of blaming the ‘bloody foreigners’ for all of our woes is anyone’s guess).
It also makes it more expensive for UK citizens to travel to Europe which may make them boost the local economy by staying at home which may or may not be a positive outcome.
But what about the rest of the economy.
The fall in the value of the pound following Brexit will see an increase in the cost of food imports that provide the services to hotels, an increase that because of the sudden fluctuations they cannot pass on to their customers.
The outcome of course is a major impact on the businesses.
Away from the tourism industry the impact on the already hard pressed manufacturing industry and especially the smaller businesses within the high tech, high skilled sector who rely on exports is beginning to show.
What the Conservative Government who are in charge of the Brexit Plan point to (alright I’m being sarcastic) is the relative global strength of the U.K. Manufacturing sector being 10th in the world league table and accounting for 56% of the U.K. exports and that this puts it in a strong position to exploit new opportunities.
What they don’t of course point out is that the U.K. manufacturing sector is very, very vulnerable for the simple fact that a large number of the businesses are owned by companies that are to use the modern parlance ‘foreign’.
How galling it must be for the Brexit Ministers to find out that the U.K. manufacturing sector is actually owned by foreign parent companies.
(Bloody foreigners coming over here, investing in our companies, paying taxes and employing our citizens).
Thankfully we have now taken back control and can prevent it happening in the future, which is a major point.
The question is why would the parent companies of U.K. based manufacturing businesses take the risk of a volatile pound and global market instability resulting from Brexit and rather than instead of in the U.K. invest in other countries within the European Union.
But what about the Conservatives?
Aren’t they the party of business?
Well it seems that the claim is now very clearly a myth that they, and only they will continue to promote in the hope that people will continue to accept its validity without question.
They promise a major realignment of global markets in which the U.K. will seize the opportunities that Brexit will bring to enter into trading agreements with what was once the countries of the GB Empire such as New Zealand and Australia.
The opportunities of being free from the European Union block will mean that the U.K. will be able to agree more preferential trading agreement terms with other nations than it currently has as a member of the EU.
The problem is of course that the U.K. manufacturing sector is and has been for decades centred on the European Union as their major marketplace.
The Brexit Ministers and their supporters also conveniently forget to mention that the Commonwealth Countries already have major and significant ongoing trade agreements with the European Union worth billions of Euros and are hardly likely to risk them in favour of reigniting and returning to former trade agreements.
The best summary of the Brexit situation was perhaps by the ex- Conservative Prime Minister, John Major when he said,
“Obstacles are brushed aside as of no consequence whilst opportunities are inflated beyond any reasonable expectations of delivery”
Theresa May will unquestionabley start the ball rolling by implementing Article 50 but either way the UK is facing major economic challenges that will continue for a long, long time into the future.
In effect the Government Brexiteers have no plan, no idea and are therefore simply making it up as they go.
Which brings us back to the problem,
Hard Brexit – or – Just Brexit