Thundering down the road like a man obsessed, UK Prime Minster Johnson stares the Brexit deadline of 31 October in the face. Some British people like this bravado. It plays well as emotions are manipulated in the heightened reality of a stage drama. Unfortunately, this isn’t a dramatic production this is real life.
In real life, the UK is not prepared for a No Deal Brexit. Separation from the European Union (EU) without a mutually beneficial, reasonable and rational deal has become almost a certainty. Forcing this situation on every walk of life in the UK is tragic.
The aviation industry is not ready.
Here’s another aspect of this situation that troubles me. I was an engineering student in the city of Coventry at the end of the 70s, beginning of the 80s. Large swaths of traditional British manufacturing were dying all around us. The UK Government’s approach was: “devil take the hind most”. Its crude free market thinking that I see in play now. It goes like this: we, the Government will not support you (industry) if you are not strong enough to survive a transformative downturn because that’s the test of your worth to the nation. So, rather than helping major employers bridge a gap, reorganise and build a future the UK lost or sold off potential future global industrial titans.
In aviation, travel maybe be governed by foreign exchange volatility in the short-term. In the long-term technology and the regulatory framework are the key issues. To suceed, the more harmonised regulations become the more of an enabler they can be.
Today, regardless of the domestic political machinations of Brexit there’s a global industrial transformation going on. Some people call it the fourth industrial revolution. Reading numerous intelligent commentators on this subject it’s more than clear that the aggressive approach taken in the early 80s is completely hopeless when faced with what’s coming down the road.
As an internationalist, I’ll use some words that start with “inter” – interaction, interconnection, interdependency and interrelation. Connections between or among the people, things, or places are growing at an increasing rate. This will not slow down. More and more of everything around us is connected. In this world small minded nationalist thinking, barriers and walls are an anathema.
Brexit is hopelessly doomed. It encourages short-term reactive thinking, as we have seen over the last 3-years. It’s fuelled by hideously outdated free market thinking. It’s rejecting the power of cooperative working across Europe. In 72 days, there’s not much that can be done to reorient given such global trends. The conclusion is that Brexit must be delayed or preferably stopped. We (UK) are going down the wrong road.