The British manufacturing industry was/is meant to lead the post-Brexit trade charge, according to those who believe that Britain's place is outside the European Union. But those who are meant to be leading the charge for Britain plc in the new dawn of post-Brexit Britain are deeply concerned. Some of these worries were even expressed at the Palma Boat Show, which got under way yesterday. The concern is - what will happen? Will parts imported from elsewhere have a tariff and will the rest of the world return Britain's tariff favour? Many of the thousands of components that go into a yacht or even a car are not built in Britain. So what is going to happen? A sizeable part of Britain's manufacturing output goes abroad, but companies are in the dark. As I said, these companies are meant to be leading the post-Brexit campaign.
There will be those who will say that it is a question of 'keep calm and carry on', but British exporters have been left weathering the Brexit storm and at the moment calm water is not in sight. The added problem is that manufacturing makes up little of Britain's GDP, probably far less than the output from the City of London or Canary Wharf, but they still need clarity and help from the government because they do employ thousands of people. The problems faced by manufacturing should have been highlighted during the referendum campaign but like so many things it was a question of it will be all right on the night when we get our country back from the clutches of the European Union.
What next? Answers on a postcard please.