Leaving the European Union presents the United Kingdom with a number of opportunities that I look forward to our Government seizing and maximising.
First and foremost it will mean that the laws and legislation that govern our everyday lives, how we regulate businesses and even our taxation system, will be determined wholly at home – with lawmakers accountable only to the British electorate.
It will be up to each party, and each elected Government to decide on our path from year to year, and election to election, but I hope that our long term goal will be to create a hugely pro business environment in the UK, that will lead to the good jobs and strong economic growth required to fund the public services we rely on.
EU laws on procurement, for example, were estimated by PWC to cost up to 30% of the value of a contract. 41% of business think the EU is a hindrance; only 20% think it helps.
Although our exit is still to be negotiated, it will also be in the interests of everyone to ensure that we have as close a trading relationship as possible, in order for British consumers to keep buying European goods – and most importantly for British exporters to keep satisfying European demand for their high quality products.
But the real opportunity on offer after leaving the EU will be the improvement of Britain’s trading relationship with the rest of the world.
The European Union has proven spectacularly bad at securing trade deals, with the apparent death of TTIP only the most recent example.
Smaller countries like Chile, South Korea and Switzerland have all negotiated trade deals more successfully than the EU, and it is hard to believe that the UK will not be able to outperform that terrible record.
Measurement and evaluation