Bristol – so good they named it 35 times!

Original article written by Stephen Fear for the Bristol Post on 7th December 2016 (also featured on SouthWestBusiness.co.uk on 8th December 2016):

Stephen Fear, of the Fear Group, believes Bristol has a bright business future 

With its two brilliant universities, two aspirational football teams and one potentially great rugby team (not doing so well at the time of writing admittedly but still with amazing support), Bristol has a big future in front of it, regardless of Brexit!

In fact Bristol is so good they didn’t name it twice, but 35 times! That’s right, there are 35 places around the world named Bristol.

Bristol in England is by far the most populated having around 450,000 people living within its boundaries. Bristol in Connecticut is second with just over 60,000 people.

The vast majority of Bristols are in the United States, with two more in Canada, one each in Peru, Costa Rica, and Jamaica.

Interestingly, Bristol is the fifth most commonly re-used British place name according to various sources, including Wikipedia. It follows on behind Richmond, then London, Oxford and Manchester.

In a way John Cabot started all this with his voyage from Bristol to America in 1497. At the time, Bristol’s inner harbourside was a hive of entrepreneurial activity, much as Avonmouth is today.

A fabulous replica of Cabot’s ship The Matthew can been seen, boarded, and actually sailed on around the harbourside.

It is a beautiful sight at any time of year and a vivid reminder of how important this famous city has been in the development of the western world.

With the announcement of the new development next to Temple Meads Railway Station, Bristol looks set to take on the uncertainty surrounding our exit from the EU better than most.

Connected to the rest of the country and beyond by a major rail network, the city also boasts a first class airport which is improving every year. Passenger numbers are up again in 2016, set to exceed 7 million people choosing to use its facilities.

This brings me onto Brexit!

I have been disappointed by the rhetoric coming from some people within the Brussels political elite, including sarcastic words from EU Vice President Donald Tusk and current President John-Paul Juncker.

Some of our own politicians should stop being arrogant as Brexit unfolds too! It is essential we work together for the benefit of all our people.

It isn’t about politicians of any persuasion, it is about the people!

With elections in Austria just over and French and German elections due in 2017, things are bound to heat up. Will the EU survive, who knows?

But whether others join us in leaving or not, it’s important to remember that it is the EU we are leaving not Europe!

Europe is a continent not a political or trading union! We are part of that continent and always will be.

People like business-building and aspiration. They want to improve their lives and have choice.

In my opinion, any political party that ignores free enterprise will be committing political suicide at the next general election.

Encouraging business and enterprise will be fundamental to our success as we exit the EU.

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