16 January, 2017 - 11:33 By Richard Taylor, Managing Director, Simpsons Creative

Brexit isn’t the problem. It’s being stuck Betwixit!

Can things possibly get any worse than they did in 2016? No, don’t answer that!

The year was full of, mostly, unwelcome surprises: the Referendum outcome and the undiminished in-fighting over its execution; the ominous triumph of Trump (regardless of the ‘Trump Bump’) and the insidious influence of Putin; the clay feet of Teresa May’s ‘iron lady’ as we face a winter of discontent to rival the three-day week of the 1970s; and the passing of celebrities like David Bowie, Mohammed Ali, Leonard Cohen, George Michael and Zsa Zsa Gabor. You’re well out of it guys and gals, believe me!

Still, you’ve got to believe in better, as they say over at Sky TV, or at least keep buggering on as Sir Winston Churchill said during the dark days of World War II.

Back then it was the Spirit of the Blitz that saw us through, a consciousness that we’re all in this together, and a similar unity of purpose would serve all those of us in business well right now.

To take the optimistic view, I believe the current state of affairs is because, on the home front at least, we are betwixt and between: so long as the whole Brexit issue hangs fire business will continue to be cautious and irresolute.

But once the terms of Brexit have been agreed (yeah, I know) and Article 50 has been triggered (at least there appears to be a consensus that this will take place in March) we can stop arguing about how we’re going to do it and get on with doing it.

Although, along with most of the ad industry, I would have preferred to remain in the Single Market (easy access to 500 million brains being preferable to only being able to easily employing those in the UK), history cannot be rewritten and prevaricating just exacerbates the problem. 

Europe has its own problems anyway; what with the rise of the far right, the disillusionment felt by whole swathes of the population with both their own political classes and the grand European project as a whole, and seemingly every bank from Frankfurt to Siena in a spot of bother, we might just be able to make the best of the people having spoken.

Similarly, the outcome of the US presidential election and the ill-preparedness of our Foreign and Trade Ministries to anticipate it (and the ham-fisted approach to negotiations since) fills me with misgiving, but the fact remains that we’ve been presented with a fait accompli and we have to make the best of it.

And the prospects are not as dire as you might think, despite our own Government’s ineptness and Trump’s disastrous foreign policy (even before formal appointment he has contrived to give the Chinese a bloody nose!)  But love him or loathe him (and his pal Nigel Farage) the guy is well disposed to us and ready to put us at the front of the queue international trade wise, in contrast to the dismissive comments of the outgoing president, Barrack Obama.

So, onward and upward, forward and fearless!  Let’s leave behind Betwixit, embrace Brexit, and try for a better, happy and prosperous 2017!

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