The laughter recently aimed at Michael Gove following his assertion that Boris Johnson and David Davis are the “Ronaldo and Messi” who are going to deliver a successful resolution for the UK when it comes to divorcing from the EU was puzzling. Or was that me?
When speaking recently to the Huffington Post, Gove asserted that Johnson and Davis were comparable to arguably the two greatest footballers on the planet. In many respects, the analogy by Mr Gove is an odd one, however, in other respects it shows some invention on the esteem he holds the pair. Johnson and Gove, you’ll recall have history.
As we all know, anything discussed between Mr Davis and his team and EU counterparts is immediately leaked to the press and then picked apart in detail and forensically examined by all, especially businesses and the media. Are we any further forward? March 2019 is just 13 short months away, yet the country seems to be more divided than ever, and that, to be honest isn’t great for confidence.
For years, the Tory party has demanded an EU referendum to decide on its direction as a political party. Yet, now we have an outcome there’s more infighting within their ranks than ever before. It’s unseemly and incredible viewing. Grow up! Labour are picking up on this and making more gains; are they beginning to look like a party that could lead?
On the flip side of the coin, the noises emanating from overseas trade partners seems – on the face of it – to be quite positive. The USA and Australia are both promising free-trade deals and this is set against a backdrop of Liam Fox confidently claiming 40 free trade deals by the time we exit. Just the 38 to go then!
In fact, businesses have grasped the nettle and are asserting themselves in the Brexit debate. Through the Institute of Directors (IoD), businesses are lobbying for a “hybrid” trade deal post-Brexit, ensuring that key industries can remain competitive while simultaneously allowing the Government to fulfil its referendum promise of adopting an independent trade policy. This certainly is a positive step.
The UK finds itself in unchartered waters having been at the heart of Europe since the EU was incepted. However, many businesses are reading through the rhetoric and making their own plans for future prosperity. Unfortunately, we’ve read recently of job losses, redundancies and closures at many familiar businesses. However, whilst these are disappointing to learn about, they aren’t anything relating to Brexit. Carillion, for instance, was badly run.
At MRK Associates, we’ve been talking with FDs and CFOs to understand their view. It’s important. They are open minded but are consciously making plans. We’ve also been hosting regular seminars to inform our clients with professionals who are at the “coalface” of Europe and can help us to understand the waters in which we’re sailing.
What’s pleasing is that our seminars and conversations have never (openly) discussed the need for a wonder goal to help the Britain achieve its potential. Now as Mr Gove says we have the equivalent of the two undisputed best footballers on the planet in our corner negotiating our exit, maybe we do need some wizardry and a finish that wouldn’t be out of place in a World Cup final to ensure we’re all happy?
They think it’s all over. Not yet, it’s not.