On the 23rd June the British people participated in a nationwide referendum on whether to remain within the European Union. During the campaigning there were many half-truths claimed as fact by both sides and the entire campaign could be seen as fairly comical if it were not such a serious issue. The result was a fairly clear decision with overall turnout high at just over 72%, 52% of the population voted to leave; a 4% majority.
Both Scotland and Northern Ireland as regions voted overwhelming to remain as part of the EU, and as such are calling for additional referendums on independence, which I do believe they should have. Scotland had a referendum on independence and EU membership was a key argument for remaining part of the UK. Northern Ireland has a direct land border with the EU and as such has very different concerns to those of us in the mainland.
With these issues aside the people of England therefore voted with a higher majority 53.2% to 46.8%, a 6.4% majority and a 73% turnout. This results in a very clear mandate, with a nearly 2 million vote majority to leave, for the country. We now need to take a moment to reflect on this calm down and do what we British do best; get the job at hand done.
This change in direction creates many new opportunities for business and these opportunities clearly outweigh and risks associated with this decision, and need to be capitalised upon. The only way this decision will be the wrong one is if we as a country fail to get behind it and seize these new opportunities.
In that frame of mind, I believe David Cameron should on Monday morning appoint an initial negotiation team, to start the ball rolling on the process. This team should be made up of the best of the best we have to offer. Ideally if he is willing Lord Digby Jones should be asked to contribute if not lead to the trade negotiations aspect of this. This is the start of the process and we should not be seen as procrastinating with a hard struggle.