Steve Lane, Werrington First independent councillor:
Sometimes in life, there comes a moment when you might ask if an event may be some kind of omen, or just simply coincidental.
I began writing this article after realising the UK has just nine months’ before leaving the European Union. Then, just two paragraphs into the page, I received news of the Royal Assent given to the European Withdrawal Bill, meaning it has been signed by the Queen and passed into law. The Act will ensure that after 40 years of being entwined with EU law, the UK’s laws will continue to work from the day we leave, ensuring a smooth and orderly exit.
So, to those who might dream of a second referendum – I say forget it, because it will not happen; and despite the months of complications and political engineering played out by anti-Brexiteers, Parliament is slowly accepting the fact that divorce is imminent and irreversible. Just what that means for us will depend on who you listen to, because there are many that have lived the past 40-odd years under the EU/Common Market banner and would understandably know of no other life. Amazingly, there will even be some of those elected Members of Parliament that have not experienced the pride of knowing that our United Kingdom should be a truly sovereign nation.
I am sure the UK’s choice to leave the EU hit leaders of the European Union hard, and the condemnation of Member States, along with a multitude of warnings from multinational corporations with vested interests for Britain to remain in the Single Market, was to be expected. Unmistakably, all these interests come from governments and businesses with self-serving points of view, and nothing to do with the will of the people. Yes, we heard recently from Airbus, when it said that if Britain crashed out of the EU without a trade deal it would “reconsider its footprint in the country” and “investments in the UK” – but that is the kind of speculation that has been made ever since the referendum result.
With a firm belief that we should take all such warnings with a pinch of salt, because although the outcome from our withdrawal is difficult to judge, we should remain confident that Government is truly focussed.
Despite relentless obstacles being placed to thwart a mutual divorce, I feel we really can look forward to the Prime minister delivering a good deal.
Of course, negotiations have not been easy, and one pro-Brexit MEP will have been laughed at for suggesting that trade relations could be sorted in an afternoon and ‘over a cup of tea’, but the PM does not intend to leave without a trade deal.
Whether it takes a week or a number of months, there will be one in place, and the UK will move forward with diligence, building a stronger and ever successful economy.
I am confident that our new EU partners will soon begin to reciprocate with these ideals because of equal interest.
No-one likes to see a marriage breakdown, and one might try their utmost to hang on and prevent a split, but once the decree becomes absolute, each side should allow for transition and make moves to support each other into prosperity for both parties.
The words of one Jacob Rees-Mogg will then ring true. He says the upcoming transition period will be tough, but worth the wait, and akin to purgatory before getting into heaven.