There has been much speculation over the past few months about Brexit, and what it will mean for the UK economy – with both sides of the debate having much to say about our collective economic future. Like a child leaving home for the first time, there is much uncertainty about “what happens next” now that the great British electorate has voted for a life outside the EU and more recently, a hung parliament.
So, amongst all of the speculation and doom and gloom, is there any hope? Well I believe there is, once we are prepared to reflect more seriously upon our own modern history, and use it as a template to map our way forward economically. As once we turn our collective focus on to how the UK economy will cope beyond the economic comfort blanket that has accompanied our membership of the EU – we can perhaps reflect on what we have to offer the rest of the world as a “newly independent nation”.
You see, I believe that what we have to offer is actually quite a lot – as we may well be a small group of islands that sit on the very edge of Europe, but we have a strong history of both invention and ingenuity (without parallel I believe), that has been of great benefit to the world over the past 200 years in particular. Don’t believe me? Well did you know that citizens from these shores were responsible for inventing the following;
The pneumatic tyre, the lawn mower, the catseye, the electric telegraph, the light bulb, the chocolate bar, the steam engine, the worldwide web, the hypodermic syringe, the telephone, the television, the hip replacement, the automatic kettle, linoleum, synthetic dye, the passenger railway, the toothbrush, the military tank, cement, stainless steel, the jet engine, the seed drill, the wind up radio, the glider, the tension spoked bicycle wheel, photography, the tin can, the hydraulic press, the electric motor, the Bessemer process for steel production, the modern sewerage system, the electronic programable computer, the torpedo, the hovercraft, disc brakes, the electric vacuum cleaner, the ATM machine, waterproof material, float glass, the modern fire extinguisher, carbon fibre, soda water, the reflecting telescope, the collapsible baby buggy, the marine chronometer, radar and i-phone design……and I really could go on.
As if the list above wasn’t impressive enough, were you also aware that the City of London is one of the world’s key suppliers of financial services, and most of the developed countries of the world have adopted our legal system as a template for their own. In addition, our creative industries are worth almost £10 million an hour to our economy, which translates to around £84.1 billion a year in total revenue. British pop and rock acts occupy four of the top seven highest grossing performers in history, with Adele being the highest grossing artist in the world in 2016.
Furthermore, our expertise in areas such as fashion design, advertising, Film & TV production, architectural design, software, crafts, publishing and music is recognised throughout the world as being market leading and yet again, I could go on.
So, whilst it might appear right now that our politicians are at odds over the future direction of travel for our country, for most of us it is simply just a case of business as usual. Speaking personally, it is my only hope that whatever deal is finally reached with the EU, our political leaders do not mess things up by creating an environment that stifles the natural talents of our citizens as a whole – as this can only have consequences for our collective economic prosperity
This article was written by Peter Nicholls CEO of Ideology Consulting. For more information, go to www.ideologyconsulting.co.uk .