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email to the Editor of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Journal, Focus

October 6, 2016 10:49 AM
By Laurie Price in Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Journal, Focus

Dear Madam,

I would like to take issue with the rather superficial letter from Dr Wild in the September issue of Focus on Benefits of BREXIT.

As an active supporter of REMAIN and one of the 48% who voted IN and having an economic background in air transport, in senior positions with major airlines and Director with an International Consultancy, former Aviation Adviser to the Transport Select Committee and All Party Parliamentary Group for Aviation and Chairman of a Government Panel on Aviation issues, I can only think Dr Wild is easily persuaded by the half-truths and lies that came from the Leave camp, most of whose leaders have left the field, with no BREXIT Plan and a Government that having held the Referendum, is equally moribund.

Other than a short term benefit to exporters of the £ falling to its lowest value against the US $ since the 1980's, how will they and the UK economy cope with the increase cost of raw materials, resulting inflation, reduced economic activity and loss of unfettered access to the world's largest Free Trading block accounting for almost 50% of our exports? Already many large manufacturing and service firms have warned of cutbacks in production and employment and possible moves of their core operations to the Continent. The Japanese Government has warned of potential cutbacks to their industry and commercial activity in the UK - Nissan, Honda, Toyota and its banking sector. He says "the EU would be rather stupid to disrupt trade when they would be the losers"; really. If he had really analysed the position, he would have recognised the biggest losers would be the UK economy. Why should the remaining EU member states do UK any favours, particularly if they threaten further break up? Remember the concept of "pour encourage les autres"!.

We have established trade agreements through the EU and its larger economic and political "clout" with all major world economies including China and India. How does Dr Wild expect that the UK with 65 million people, will be able to negotiate a better trade deal independently than when part of a 500 million trading block? Many nations have said UK will be at the back of the queue in any new trade negotiations. How does that help the economy or manufacturing in particular? Already, the Bank of England, who have be proven right at every stage, and other major economic groups have forecast UK economic growth will reduce from 2.3% to 0.8%, narrowly avoiding recession. How does that reduction in economic output with reduced taxes and employment help? Particularly as our struggling NHS will never see the "Illusory £350 million a week" shamelessly and wrongly stated by the LEAVE campaign. Whilst an ageing population and resulting increases in welfare cost but reduced tax base needs inward active migration to fill the increasing gap in tax receipts.

It's not about having an entrepreneurial outlook, which any company that is to survive in the 21st Century Global economy has to have, but recognising economic reality in the Global Market place. Unfortunately Manufacturing is a relatively small part of the UK economy, due to global pressures and lack of adequate Government policy response. Where we do succeed is in high technology, aerospace, motor manufacture and related areas, where we lead the world, helped by our membership of the EU through Free Trade, research support, ERASMUS and free movement of labour.

But 80% of the UK economy is now in Services, which again benefited greatly by our EU membership.

So unlike the BREXITERS and their view of Nirvana, based on nostalgia, nationalism and nativism, I wish UKs to be outward looking and engaged, having real influence on world affairs, not isolationist little Englanders. I am concerned for our children and grandchildren and their employment opportunity, security and safety after the peace that the EU helped secure after millennia of conflict in Europe.

The result was narrow and based on lies and misinformation. We need our sovereign Parliament, most of whose members voted to stay in, to vote on the outcome of the negotiations and, in the interest of true democracy, that to be put to a further Referendum .

Yours sincerely

Laurie Price