£9 Billion, that’s the post-Brexit Boom hitting London’s West End according to today’s papers. A record for this part of London as the capital’s retail sector takes advantage of a weaker pound, boosting tourism and seeing a sale increase of 44% from tourism outside of the EU.
EU-UK single market banking passporting has also been revealed not only to be a benefit to Britain but for the wider EU member states, with the City A.M. newspaper reporting that 8,008 of the 13,484 firms who use passporting are in fact inbound, promoting the call for a speedy agreement to secure post-Brexit UK banking deals. Theresa May needs to act now and invoke Article 50 and engage Britain in real EU negotiations, so we can clarify and build on this strong position in both areas.
Both the retail and banking sectors were hot topics in the EU referendum debate with “project fear” telling us that we would see a mass exodus of the banking sector from London and the UK. In fact, in the days preceding the Brexit vote HSBC and Barclays both declared they would both be keeping their headquarters in London, despite originally threatening they would move out of the UK all together should the country leave.
This sort of turnaround by big banks only confirms the argument that it was large multinational corporations which were on the side of a corporatist EU, fighting to protect their own vested interests and not those of the British public.
However in the weeks since the Brexit result we have seen a turnaround by Theresa May on the pledge by the Leave campaign to control immigration and create a point’s based system, not dissimilar to the Australian model. This is very much in keeping with the attitude of the Tory government; the public’s concerns around immigration are simply not taken seriously. Such backtracking only proves that once again, UKIP is needed to hold the government to account, to ensure Brexit means Brexit.
To quote Nigel Farage “We have won the War, now let us win the peace”.
The concept of “winning the peace” of course stretches beyond the issues of immigration, it requires UKIP to be the champion of all things Brexit. Far from losing their rasion d’etre, UKIP MEPs will see their role enhanced. It has become essential that they are strong and effective in assisting the UK in positive, proactive and successful EU-UK negotiations.
The UK must now look beyond the EU towards the world and in particular to its Commonwealth. Created from the ashes of the British Empire, the Commonwealth stands as a perfect example of international and voluntary co-operation, representing a larger proportion of the worlds GDP than the European Union. This is a Commonwealth of countries that share the same values of democracy and freedom. Indeed, this could mark a new era for a Commonwealth which Britain shamelessly neglected.