The week that has passed has given reasons for optimism and pessimism. A lot depends on where you care to look.
Parliament is chaos. Antagonistic, divided and flip-flopping. White papers and white lies coexist. Honourable ladies and gentlemen many of them are not. The Government’s answer was, let’s go on holiday. As if delaying debate until September will help them over the trouble and torment. No these will just get deeper as the political conference season gives platforms to every extreme.
Sensing that the unthinkable has become thinkable, preparations are being made for there to be “no deal” between the UK and EU the before 31st March next year. Judicious it maybe to be prepared but the signals given are all negative. This week the pound has declined in value again.
How horrendous it would be, to have to admit that after 40 years of successful partnership, the UK and EU could not write down and agree the bare bones of a settlement. Other potential partners around the globe would look on with shock and dismay. The vultures are circling.
Some argue for a delay in the Article 50 deadline next year or even a suspension of the process. There’s some merit in these proposals given that a two-year window for negotiations was a highly ambitious target in the first place. It was written into European law with no experiences of its true meaning and, I assume, with the assumption it would never be used.
On a more positive note, I have been to the Farnborough Air Show this week. It was almost taboo to avoid conversations about Brexit although there were plenty. It was a trade day on Friday and set over to young people and developing the future. The stands were buzzing with school children, air cadets and students. I’m confident that these are the next generation of pilots and engineers who will drive aviation forward.
Looking around, I thought of the dry and hot summer of 1976. That was my 16th year. The summer I recall was wonderful. That September, with wide eyed ambition, I started an engineering apprenticeship. Being full of energy, enthusiasm and wonder the first tentative steps of my career were taken.
The mid-70s was a world of incredible possibilities at the beginning of the digital era. Predictions of a new leisured age, where computers would do all our work filled the colour supplements. Strange how life repeats.