Opinion: A bright future awaits Britain now Brexit is done

Original article written by Stephen Fear for the Bristol Post Newspaper on 5th February 2020 (also featured on Business-Live.co.uk on 3rd February 2020).

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Stephen Fear, founder of property company Fear Group, believes the UK is “well capable” of building a successful future.

Following Britain’s departure from the EU many people will be concerned about how the UK will fair in the wider world without the bloc behind us.

I don’t think we should be too concerned, due largely to the ability of our entrepreneurs and inventors to adapt and create new ways of doing business which, when coupled with the traditional resilience of the British people, is a powerful force.

The entire EU 27 represents only a small percentage of world trade which leaves us a huge number of trading partners without doing any business with the bloc at all.

Of course we want to trade with the EU, and they certainly want to trade with us too, but we must not think it’s the be all and end all as far as our future prosperity goes.

We have many negotiating tools in our box, including our fishing waters, banking and security industries and of course consumer purchasing power.

Our intelligence services are coveted by governments throughout the democratic free world and well respected by the few dictatorships which still exist too.

I have followed Brexit closely because I have friends from Italy, France and Germany who are still MEPs.

None of them wanted the UK to leave but all respected our right to do so. Some believe we will do very well indeed while others hope we will one day return (something that I personally doubt).

There is much talk about a Canadian-type deal but my preference would be for one closer to the one negotiated by Australia, which is founded on a partnership framework first created in 2008.

Relations between Australia and the EU are rock solid and based on mutual respect. The Australian government maintains a delegation to the EU which is based at its embassy in Brussels.

There is no reason why Britain can’t do the same. Incidentally, China is Australia’s biggest trading partner, not the EU or the US.

Britain is predicted to be the seventh largest economy in the world in 2020, according to US investing and finance website Investopedia – only behind the US, China, Japan, Germany, India and France.

By comparison, Australia is predicted to rank in 14th place.

I understand that without Britain the EU is projected at just over $17trillion, making it larger than China but smaller than the US – both of whom are likely to be a future free trading partners of the UK.

Britain invented the world wide web, the telephone and the electric motor, and many other things besides.

The country is therefore well capable of paddling its own canoe, providing everyone on board grabs an oar and starts rowing rather than rowing.

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