Very little about the Brexit process until post-election could be described as smooth, but what I do heartily commend is the current dose of common sense and realism around where we are now, what’s in store and how best to plan for taming foreign trade arrangements.
Michael Gove last week admitted that there were no guarantees that trade would be ‘frictionless’. He’s right, there’s lots to do.
The prize is worth fighting for, and both sides should want it — that long-term free trade deal.
Of course there are not insubstantial barriers to overcome. The EU is enmired with seemingly immovable legislation and laws, and that’s challenging for a newly independent trading partner, even though the UK is no stranger.
Mr Gove has said that Britain wants “as close as possible a relationship with the EU and the approach we want to take is based on the relationship they have with Canada.”
He went on: “That may mean that when it comes to trading with Europe there are some bureaucratic processes there that aren’t there now but we will do everything possible to minimise the friction in terms of our economy.”
The minister for the Cabinet Office also said, ahead of the historic break with Europe, that he would be ‘both relieved and delighted when the clock strikes 11pm’. He added it was “a chance for us, as a country, to come together”.
And he was quick to point to things to be optimistic about, including control of our borders, security of British citizens, and attracting the brightest and the best to work here.
He also volunteered the view that EU laws had restricted innovation and commented that there were a huge range of areas where Britain can now develop the technologies of the future, find ways to feed the world’s poor and enhance lives. He said the Government was going to use its power and that of the private sector to make sure that parts of the country that have not benefited properly from economic growth in the past see benefits coming to them.
I am at heart and innovator and I am a firm believer in looking at how to achieve the best. Working together is the best way I know to deliver positive change.