For political junkies, Brexit is the gift that keeps on giving. Every day we get a new story of how Brexit will destroy the union and cripple various sectors of the economy. For those of us who voted against it, it is hard not to have a smug I told you so attitude.
But watching the excellent Ted Lasso last night one of the characters made the observation that every disadvantage is an advantage. More specifically England’s disadvantage can be Northern Irelands advantage. From Andrew Rawnsley in yesterdays Observer:
Multinationals are not complaining so much because they are often wary of picking a fight with government and have resources, staff and facilities that make them better able to cope. The greatest burdens of Brexit are falling on smaller enterprises, collectively employing a lot of people, who trade with Europe. As my colleague Toby Helm reports in this newspaper, they are hurting badly. The post-Brexit world is so tough for many that the government’s own trade specialists are advising afflicted British entrepreneurs to relocate some of their operations out of the UK and to the EU. This has to be one of the greater absurdities of Brexit. British companies are being told by the British government that the way to survive is to lay off British workers and transfer their jobs to folk across the Channel.
Is InvestNI trying to target Mainland UK companies to move to Northern Ireland? If not why not? Can we have ads telling people that Northern Ireland Swings both ways? We are the Schrödinger’s cat of nations – both simultaneously in the UK and the EU.
We are target online stores to say they can use NI as a base for their warehouse and back-office operations. Business people throughout Northern Ireland need to start thinking of ways to take advantage of the unique situation we find ourselves in. Arbitrage, Freeports etc there are lots of new potential industries we can attract. It’s time to stop gloating and start making some money.
Thanks to Bill Young for altering me to Andrew Rawnsley column.
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.