Brexit: Looking ahead with optimism

Union Jack and European Union flags

A week which began, unsurprisingly, with a flurry of Brexit-related announcements in the press from the Government will end with the UK’s exit from the European Union at 11pm tonight (Friday 31st January 2020).

The date offers the opportunity to draw a line under the most divisive issue in our recent political history. We are leaving – finally – and now, in every sense, it is time to move on.

I am looking ahead with optimism, because of what I have been seeing at first hand since I became the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth.

Getting out to meet Essex’s businesses leaders in their businesses, talking to them about what they need from the council, the government, and (I am sure this subject will begin to come up) what they want from future trade deals is one of the best parts of my job.

In the last month,  I’ve been to Essex businesses making high-end point of sale materials out of plastic dumped in the ocean, a tailor with a major contract for the Sandhurst military academy, a business services company, a wind farm, a property asset manager, and the Mercury Theatre.

Diverse, successful, Essex-based concerns, keen to grow their business and their reputation.

What they all wanted was for the uncertainty to end, so they can focus on planning, investment, and growth. As of tonight, one key element of that uncertainty has been dealt with. What we want now – business leader and county councillor alike - for is the detail of our future relationship with Europe to come as quickly as possible. I won’t hesitate to keep reminding our Essex MPs of that when I see them and correspond with them.