“It’s the economy stupid” was the phrase that James Carville coined when acting as chief campaign strategist for former US president Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 presidential campaign against the then sitting president George H W Bush.
Well, as the UK prepares itself for a no doubt protracted and messy divorce from a European Union still in “shock” over a Brexit vote they never anticipated or planned for – both sides would do well to heed Mr Carville’s insightful catchphrase. No matter which side of the debate you were on back on June 23rd, it is vital for the economies of both the UK and Europe as a whole that we do not slip into the sort of damaging economic paralysis that will cost thousands of jobs, weaken both currencies, and put a halt to both internal and external investment that is so vital if we are to stave off future recession.
I realise that the anger and recrimination that was (and still is) being vented post the Brexit vote still resonates largely through the mainstream media, but the debate should now move on and should focus on the process of disentangling the UK from Europe in such a manner that leaves both of our respective economies intact. Not easy, I know – but there can be no place for politicians that follow political doctrine/ideology, rather than looking after the best interests of their citizens by keeping them in work.
More recently, the media has turned its attentions to the case for a hard or soft Brexit by allowing “scorned” European politicians (as well as “jubilant” UKIP and right wing Tory MP’s) to let off steam with their uncompromising views of how they are largely not prepared to compromise. Even before the metaphorical Article 50 button has been pressed by Theresa May, the phoney war of words has begun. In many respects this is to the detriment of both sides of the argument, as whether you were for or against leaving the EU, politicians on both sides can hardly legitimately claim that our vote was not at the very least, democratic.
Yet those of us that have experienced divorce on a personal level know that through the anger and rhetoric must hopefully and eventually come stability and calm – but it needs to be worked for with both sides seeing it as a desirable prerogative to “win the peace” so to speak. If we are as a nation to emerge from the Brexit negotiations with our economy intact, the burden and responsibility that rests on the shoulders of our elected politicians is great – and one can only hope that when negotiating with the EU on our behalf, they take it a little more seriously than some of the “knockabout” antics witnessed in the build up to the referendum on June 23rd.
The author of this article is Peter Nicholls – CEO of Ideology Consulting. For more information, go to www.ideologyconsulting.co.uk .