I have to confess to being disappointed in David Cameron, having given us a referendum, neglected to set clear rules in the event of a close call, and choosing project fear over clear articulation of the consequence of a Brexit.
He then compounded those errors in my view, handing in his notice as Prime Minister at exactly the point when leadership and a firm hand on the tiller was required.
He had a great opportunity to be a leader, to show the 48 per cent how to behave. He could have stood as an example to us all, he could have stated that his voting position was well known and, despite not getting the answer he wanted from the referendum, he would deal with it and carry on and make a success of it; As we all should.
The electorate have spoken, and the rules of the game cannot be changed after the fact. The referendum debate was divisive, but post referendum, our Nation should not stand divided. This country needs to stand united. The 48 per cent need to look forward, to the future, and deal with the job in front of us. Accept the hand that we have been dealt, look for the opportunities it might provide for us, stay calm and carry on.
The sun still came up last Friday morning, and we still have contracts to deliver. We need a way forward, it won’t be easy but there are milestones to achieve.
We need a plan, to achieve a comprehensive trade deal with the European Union, and then the vision of our ascendency. The shock of the referendum result will have an impact: there will be short term pain but we now need to steady the ship and, in the longer term, we will still succeed and move on to successfully trade, globally. The UK has the fifth largest economy in the world and, despite this difficult situation, we will still prosper.
This Brexit vote has rocked Europe as well as the UK and told us that there is plenty of work to be done. Our future is unclear at the moment but If we work diligently then a positive outcome will be achieved.
As manufacturers, we don’t have the luxury of being able to resign – we need to do what we always do in these situations roll with the punches, stop the rot, search new opportunities and exploit them. We need to treat the shock of Brexit in the same way even in the absence of leadership and guidance from political leaders.
As Churchill said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”