Priti Patel, the former Secretary of State for International Development, has written an impassioned article in The Telegraph today, outlining the potential opportunities for the UK as it embarks upon Brexit.
Ms Patel, who was a strong advocate for Vote Leave, has argued that the EU’s size and structure has stifled growth and innovation in Europe as a whole and that Brexit gives the UK an opportunity to embrace innovation:
The EU, its institutions, structure and ways of working are an anachronism…instead of embracing change, the EU’s precautionary principle has held back progress.
She identified the impact this has had on the City of London, where the constraints of various policies had greatly impacted London’s role as financial capital of the world. She said that those within the Square Mile are starting to understand the full scope of the benefits now that the UK has been “freed from the constraints of ‘ever closer union’”.
“Project Fear”, she said is misleading and we need to be confident in London’s place in the world:
London remains the premier location for financial firms, while other reports have noted that new hires in the capital are enjoying double-digit salary growth and that the city remains the number one destination for European job-seekers. The Governor of the Bank of England has even claimed that the City of London could be worth almost £40 trillion by 2042.
The Member for Witham then turned to the United States saying that one of the unheard of consequences of the hotly debated tax policy changes across the pond, is that top US financiers are about to find their bills increase and that London needs to be prepared for the possible “next exodus” from the US.
The crux of her argument however, centred on the idea that we must reform now to take take full advantage of new opportunities. She stressed the need to reform taxes, including the VAT and excise duties to encourage investment, embrace new technologies and maintain a healthy relationship with Europe. She argued that there needs to be a shift in attitude and that we need to be more positive and confident about Britain’s place in the world if Brexit is to be a success.
We must embrace the next stage in the negotiations, with conviction, vision and the determination that looks to the future and the opportunities ahead. We already do more trade with the rest of the world outside the EU, including a vast amount that is undertaken on WTO terms. We must remember that our British diplomats who march into Brussels hold many of the cards. We are, after all, one of the world’s largest economies, the second largest contributor to the EU’s budget and a major player right across the international and multilateral rules-based system.