By Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE
The people have spoken and the majority have said ‘we want to leave Europe’.
Of course many people throughout the region, country, United Kingdom desperately wanted to remain in Europe, and so it is the nature of these types of monumental decisions that invariably we end up a divided nation that takes time to heal, just when what we really need is to galvanise like never before and work together to reunite our broken Kingdom.
For those of you that stayed up all night like me, to watch the unfolding outcome it became clear that it was going to be a close call and that whichever way it went, a large percentage of our people were going to be feeling desperately disappointed and so it proved to be. Now we are left to ponder a life, a future outside the European Union.
Then of course we had the resignation of our Prime Minister who paid the ultimate price for being the only political leader of our modern era brave enough to offer the people a referendum in the first place. The only politician despite apparently being advised to the contrary not to go this route but as a man of his word he delivered on his promise. Many would suggest he was foolish to gamble with our position within Europe but the people who voted to leave have David Cameron to thank for giving them the opportunity to have their say in the first instance. So now we have a leader that will step down within the coming months and a leadership contest to fight. It may be Boris Johnson, who is the current favourite however the question remains, can he be the type of statesman that commands respect from the rest of the world? Then we have Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, or perhaps lack of, according to many within his own party with 12 and counting of his shadow cabinet resigning over the weekend. How long can he keep reassembling a shadow cabinet before he runs out of the talent necessary to pose a credible team that are capable of holding government to account? Then of course there is the old chestnut that is the SNP. Good old Nicola and her colleagues campaigning for another independence referendum. She wants to be part of the European Union but not part of the United Kingdom, her neighbouring country. She wants Scotland to have a more inclusive modern relationship with the world just not it seems with England. She would do well to remember that had her party secured independence at their last attempt Scotland would possibly of been heading toward bankruptcy with a possible 15 Billion a year deficit (according to scotlandsdeficit.com) the Scottish people have a lot to think about should she manage to get her way.
And of course we then have the falling value of sterling (although not reported was the effect the bullish approach that traders took to an expected remain vote last Thursday evening which created a temporary high value and made the subsequent correction appear worse) and the uncertainty that followed causing share values to fall.
The Chancellor has since emerged to ‘steady the ship’ and it appears for the moment to be having an impact and so it goes on and on and on……
Well if there were ever a time to unleash the lions, the British Lions who can roar louder than the best of them when we are United then surely its now.
We have a lot to look forward to, of course there are choppy waters ahead and yes we have a lot of hard work to do to rebuild our fantastic country, a now Independent force, but just how forceful is up to each and every one of us.
How much do we want the prize? We are the fifth largest economy in the world and we have fantastic innovative products and services from all across the land that the rest of the world wants.
We don’t go from hero to zero overnight!
Our heritage is second to none and our strength lies in our ability to perform when our back is against the wall, to rally to the cry of our nation when it needs us most and all with a sense of calm us Britons are famous for. Let’s NOT panic, let’s not let the overwhelming stream of negative reaction which is exaggerated by social media shift our resolve to succeed.
It is after all how we perform in times of crisis that defines us. We have exceptionally gifted and intellectual people across all areas of politics, industry, finance, commerce, services and manufacturing, let us never forget that our strength lies in numbers pulling together in one direction with a sense of purpose and a vision to SUCCEED.
Of course as I write none of us know how our negotiations with our still EU partners will go but what they appear to be suggesting is that Britain will be allowed the time to formulate a vision for our future with them, which have no doubt will most certainly include a trading relationship with our European neighbours at its core as is already being indicated by Boris Johnson in his latest statements. It is not in their interest or ours, short, medium or long term not to reach an agreement that allows both the EU and the UK to prosper.
In addition we can now negotiate our own trade agreements with the entire planet on terms that best suit and benefit Britain. Our economy is made up of approximately 79% of inter UK trade, approx 11% international trade and only 10% within Europe. So whilst the uncertainty of how the markets and the world reacts is of course a concern we should take comfort in these numbers and the fact that we now have the ability to control our own destiny in the long term. As a business person I cannot over emphasis the need for a United approach, a movement of solidarity for whether you voted to remain or leave we are where we are and we need to deal with the circumstances of the peoples decision.
As a business community we need to do all we can to protect our employees, business growth, and our country’s economic stability. Remember that a UNITED country will always be stronger than divided, we know very well the importance of leadership and pulling together which are challenges we face daily. Strong leadership with a vision of prosperity is what’s needed from our government in the coming months, but in the meantime we can all do our part and make sure that ‘we are all part of the solution and NOT part of the problem’.