There are those totemic Brexit issues that keep surfacing. Maybe they are not the ones that are top of the list on your way to work or the supermarket, but the media are fixated by topics like the British Passport.
So, let’s talk about passports. Listening to a Government Minister on the radio this morning its like they had no choice but to award a major contract to a foreign company. Well, that’s the first misguiding steer of the day. Other European countries make this a matter of security and thus set aside from the single market procurement rules. It’s just another example of Brexiters giving a false steer to get themselves off a hook.
The move to buy future British passports from a European company may be perfectly justified based on quality and value for money. Those who carp about an affront to nationalism need to think carefully about what they are suggesting. Even if Brexit happens, in a post-Brexit world Government procurement will still need to be fair, open and consider the need for a “level playing field” for contractors and suppliers.
One of the most basic tenants of trade is the notion of reciprocation. In other words, I’ll buy your goods and services if you buy my goods and services. The assumption being that we all want the best goods and services supplied at the best price.
True that a large section of Brexiters are out and out nationalists. As such they don’t care much about getting the best possible deal if its restricted to the Country’s borders. Having a stamp on it to say that its 100% British is the only consideration even to the extent of damaging our export markets.
European procurement rules give us access to a market place worth 100s of billions. It would be an almighty foot shooting exercise to cut ourselves off from that market.