Calling the bluff about the EU

This country’s departure from the EU will not make the slightest difference to most large corporations — yes, including those that were joining in the threats of adverse consequences. The massive German firm, Siemens, was one of them, so was the largest investment bank in the world, J.P.Morgan and there have been several more which have said since the vote that will actually make no difference.

Even the Japanese-owned Nissan factory in Sunderland, which avoids EU tariffs now and will definitely suffer a little when EU negotiations are finished, has said it won’t leave the country after all.

It was mostly bluster and bluff. Big businesses have the administrative measure of EU regulations, while medium firms find them daunting and small firms impossible. The EU is a protective device to keep small firms at bay.

If, in the next few years, our Foreign Secretary and our Trade Secretary get enough outline bilateral treaties in place in the rest of the world — mainly with China, of course — that can be signed the day that our membership of the EU ceases, we should be able to bridge the sag in exports

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