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Chance for chancellor to be positive; THOUGHT of the day.

Byline: Ian Handford

WITH the United Kingdom now in control of its own future following our decision to withdraw from the European Union, new trading opportunities open to us from around the world. Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer saw fit to issue what was a super byline when saying "in 2021 we won't be Remainers or Leavers - only Believers" which in my view was a positive message for the future.

Mr Sunak needs to be positive again when he puts forward his budget package to Parliament on March 3, because our national debt is now more than PS2trillion - so his task will not be easy.

Leaving the EU offers the UK a golden opportunity to expand its economy, as our ex-partners grapple with the ever-changing Covid pandemic. With the UK seemingly ahead with a solution to Covid 19, this comes courtesy of our vaccine producers, processors and delivery systems. Yet as was experienced in the 19th century, after leading the world in industrial growth and even in science, theoretical leads never last forever. The Victorian pace of growth has never been matched, yet in economic terms perhaps we have an opportunity to mirror this speed, although our policy makers and politicians need to lead and be up to the job.

Britain's talent for creating new ideas and growing entrepreneurs will go on apace, yet even they require the support of Whitehall and Parliamentarians, if the UK is to be assured of success. My own pre-

Christmas feature outlined a few new inventions and visionaries currently active in Britain - when quoting a some of the larger projects proposed. New mini-sized nuclear plants suitable for being built in a factory in partnership with Rolls- Royce, futuristic solar power (from space) and geothermic power and the probability of the largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank. All UK climate-change projects - an area of the economy where currently the UK excels, and leads the world.

Looking at the economy and home grown produce, various executives of our larger supermarkets are already planning change. Waitrose has announced it will purchase more British lamb in 2021 rather than relying on imports, while at Morrisons its executives have found that a majority of its customers want more farm-fresh UK produce, while even the German owned foodmarket Aldi says new opportunities are becoming available and pledge to increase their overall purchase of

British produce by PS3.5 billion, over the next five years.

One downside of leaving the EU is that our regulatory institutions will not be able to certify British goods as suitable for sale in the EU which will affect exports.

Meanwhile, the high street recovery will rely on consumers switching from online buying once Covid ends. Whether consumers will return to shop traditionally remains speculative. Similarly, it is unclear how many thousands of employees working from home will wish to return, either part or full-time to a workplace, once Covid has run its course. Clearly some prefer working from home - with no travel costs or hassle of travels daily and with an estimated PS113 billion of household costs saved to November 2020 - yet lost to the economy - this will surely be a point of interest to the Chancellor as he works on his budget proposals for 2021/2022.

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Author:Ian Handford
Publication:The Plymouth Herald (Plymouth, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 20, 2021
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