Brexit looms and as from the 29th of March 2019, the UK will no longer be part of the EU, the BBC reminds us. There are a number of choices and difficult roads ahead, and at the end of the day, the country could use some reconciliation. What will the impact be on ordinary people and will change be as seismic as has been prophesied?

Surely we are entering uncharted waters and no one really knows or can in all good conscience give a reasoned view as to the consequences.

The Remainers’ view will always be that we are committing an act of wanton self-destructiveness and they could well be right. However, I still haven’t seen one valid reason for remaining in the EU, which does not deliberately inspire fear or apprehension. As for Brexiteers - when will the promised £350 million a week for the National Health Service materialise, among the other much vaunted sunlit uplands promised by Boris ‘Bojo’ Johnson et al?

Brexit: Focus should be on what serves best the interests of UK Plc

Beyond the endless and self-serving political discourse such as it is, real lives are affected and individuals rightly wonder what is best for them and their families. Here is where the future lies, not the capricious manoeuvrings of the Westminster village. Surely we must concentrate minds on what best serves the interests of UK Plc in conjunction with our European partners and the rest of the world.

There is no question that we must in all possible ways maintain the closest relationship to the EU, short of the trappings of membership. In the interests of democracy, we must respect the Brexit decision and leave the customs union and single market, however desirable they may be to certain parts of the UK economy.

But we must maintain the very closest cooperation and harmonisation with the EU, without prejudicing our ability to independently make trade deals with the wider world, especially regarding security, research, airspace etc.

The EU badly requires significant structural reform and member states require less centralised bureaucracy. Surely if not attempted, other members will leave in time. In this, the UK can assist and provide a blueprint for a Euro-renaissance as a valued friend, not a protagonist.

Has our political system has become too polarised and vitriolic?

As the arguments rage between the differing groupings, we drift inexorably toward the exit door.

Now is the time to reconcile and collectively endeavour to serve the common good. The Guardian notes that "everyday examples of the worst of the Brexit spirit are easy to find." It may well be that our political system has become too polarised and vitriolic to facilitate this. The people surely deserve better from those who purport to serve them. It seems probable that our existing political system will be fundamentally changed by current events, in a way not seen since the Liberal party schisms of the early twentieth century.

If this reawakens the sense of public duty and service beyond personal ambition, surely this should be welcomed.

The reality of our current situation, however, is that we will likely drift indecisively toward the exit door, without any firm direction, beyond whatever last-minute compromises that can be cobbled together. There is no doubt in my mind, that Messrs’ Barnier, Juncker and Tusk, will at the eleventh hour make sufficient concessions to allow a version of the present deal to be auctioned.

What many seem to fail to appreciate, however, is this is only the divorce arrangement, not the final agreement on our future relationship. This is surely where minds should now be concentrated, not this pointless recriminatory bickering. The people spoke, their voice must be respected, and the direction of travel is thereby set.

Post-Brexit - a brave new world

Post-Brexit, the discussion needs to progress to what our future relationship with the EU should be, what would be most mutually beneficial? Then in the spirit of reciprocity, how do the UK financial services base, best facilitate, and encourage investment across Europe? From the UK perspective, we must ensure our corporation tax arrangement doesn’t work to Europe’s detriment. Also, there needs to be a concerted Euro-wide effort to combat tax evasion and illegitimate avoidance. This would provide a clear and determined signal as to the depth and strength of our future relations.

This backdrop would allow for UK Plc to enter a brave new world outside the EU with confidence and awareness that bridges aren’t entirely burnt, in a spirit of collective benefit.

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