Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Top of 'Brexit Towers’ hidden in the fog

The sky was calm, a drab mid-grey, as I walked out in to the energising cool breeze of an English autumnal morning. Golden brown leaves carpeted the damp spongy grass, their crispness diminished but not their vibrant beauty. Woodland trees were standing on guard on the other side of the valley, distant but reassuring, shrouded in a mellow milky mist. Such a peaceful scene.

Later that morning I was in the fast-moving current of the City which is anything but peaceful. Vehicles of all shapes and sizes rumbled through the busy streets, and pedestrians of all shapes and sizes darted along the pavements. You could never choreograph the pavement, as the opposing dance of the work-bound is far too intricate. Determination and necessity take over, and we all get to our destinations.

The City of London contains a fascinating eclectic mix of new tall buildings, and today – just like the trees in the valley – they were bathed in fog and low cloud. Ever upward they reach, but today the tops of these towers were not in sight. I knew there was a conclusion, a summit, but I couldn’t see it. Nature was mirroring life. At the moment there are many conclusions that we cannot see or predict.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been reassuring business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry that Brexit will not result in a damaging cliff edge scenario, and that she will be seeking a transitional deal for the City even if the UK will need to continue paying contributions to the EU post-Brexit. Yes, even if we have to continue paying. 

CBI President Paul Drechsler believes that the business community is 100% committed to achieving a smooth and successful Brexit in 2019 in partnership with Government, but then again there have been allegations in the press that the British government does not have a single plan regarding how to manage Brexit, and that civil servants are overwhelmed already with preparatory work.

I would like to know what Mr Drechsler means by the terms ‘smooth’ and ‘successful’, as without such clarification they are fairly meaningless. Words alone cannot help us.

The top of ‘Brexit Towers’ is certainly hidden in the fog, of that there is no doubt, but surely that is to be expected in a process new to us all in the UK? Is there a need to panic? I don’t think so as I have faith in the EU. With the energising cool breeze of pan-EU co-operation, determination and necessity, we can all eventually reach our destinations under clearer skies.

Graham Harman-Baker

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