During the EU Referendum Campaign the Chancellor George Osborne accused the Leave side of promising a ‘make-believe land of milk and honey’ outside the European Union. A year later and Britain is still to find the milk and honey route. Brexit still means relatively little while negotiations with Europe are ongoing and still fruitless. But, as Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote nearly two hundred years ago: though much is taken, much abides…
Sterling is up by 0.2% and it has been confirmed that the UK economy grew by 0.3% in the second quarter of 2017. The German car manufacturer BMW is strongly considering building its next Mini in Oxford and Amazon are opening a new office in London. The US President Donald J. Trump has promised that a trade deal with the UK could be “very big and exciting”. More than a quarter of students at Russell Group universities in the UK achieved a first-class degree in 2015 and 2016. Star Wars and James Bond, which are filmed at Pinewood Studios (and helped the UK box office hit £1.2 billion in 2015) are returning to screens worldwide in 2017 and 2019.
Of course, statistics and twitter are not by themselves indicators of future success. But they do tell a story of survival and of a country with economic potential reinforced by cultural attractions and “soft power”.
Britain should not be written-off just yet.