‘We have here a tremendous opportunity to fly the flag for the UK.’

Romford Synagogue’s Rabbi and community peacemaker Lee Sunderland, today writes for the Havering Daily about Brexit.

I have been asked to comment on Brexit. The truth is, it hasn’t really happened yet so l can’t! But here are some thoughts on what life could be like after Brexit kicks in.

What do the financial services in the City of London and fishing in the North of Scotland (or anywhere else in the UK) have to do with each other?

The EU says if the City wants full access to the European sector, the EU wants access to fishing in UK waters. Something fishing communities wanted to avoid by voting Leave.

This is the world of international trade. We need to make compromises with entire industries if we are to achieve a trade deal. MPs don’t /can’t live in the little world we individually live in. We need to serve our own interests. MP’s need to look at the much wider picture of what serves the country’s entire economy best. And there will need to be winners and losers on a grand scale. We need to appreciate that.

We have here a tremendous opportunity to fly the flag for the UK. We have a tremendous opportunity to buy British. Should we find tariffs placed on foreign imports, we should then consecrate on homegrown produce. We produce a vast variety of cheeses, wines, fruit, meat, fish, clothes, alcohol and so on that we should champion rather than demand the exotic from abroad. And how that will help to cut carbon emissions simultaneously.

But we must remember that as no man is an island so is no country and we can not be isolationist. But that does not stop us forging our own trade deals, we do not have to be subject to any other trade block to be a success.
If there is one block to which we owe allegiance is it not the Commonwealth of Nations. The Empire and its break up have not exactly covered us in glory and we owe it to these countries to champion their cause and assist in their long term development. That we do offer a significant percentage of GDP to such a cause is laudable, it could now be extended to trade, education and building infrastructure.

And importantly we must tailor our education system to supply the skilled workforce required to run the country. lt has to be lamentable that we rely on foreign workers to fill jobs and don’t seem to have the homegrown skilled workforce to be self-sufficient.

Above all being self-sufficient and proud of what we have and produce must not be an excuse to look negatively on anyone else. If others wish to share in our, success let them come in as long as they give as well as take.
We have an opportunity to shape society in a very positive way and move forward with pride and success in all our endeavors.

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