Choices to be made

As I write this, I sit looking out from my home at the rolling hills of Lancashire as we stand at the dawn of spring.

For many this time heralds the total control over prevailing decisions on our future direction, coveted by the euphoria of finally having broken free from binding chains that for too long had held the lion captive, stopping it claiming its rightful place as king and master of all in its sight.

But that is not quite how everyone sees it. On a recent trip overseas, I had the opportunity to be amongst a group of the finest minds the east of our globe currently has deployed on policymaking. The difference in perspectives is striking.

In reality, for the first time in modern history, our country will be bound by rules from across the waters that no longer have any need for our blessing.

But what does all this mean at a local level?

Lancashire can expect its share of injections of funds to rebalance the economy from the South. In the North we have the ability to deliver a good rate of return on every pound spent on new government capital expenditure. In this regard with people like Ben Wallace and Andrew Stephenson as our opening batsmen, I do believe Lancashire is in good hands.

The task for our representatives is to ensure Lancashire is front of the queue as the spoils are divided up.

For the first time in modern history, our country will be bound by rules from across the waters that no longer have any need for our blessing.

If I were a Lancashire MP today I know where my focus would be. The plan should be to attract as much foreign direct investment here as we can and get the government to underpin it.

Our national, regional and local representatives need to showcase Lancashire far beyond London if they want London to really notice them.

Boris Johnson has a choice to make. He can either pivot to the centre ground, cementing his position in northern heartlands including Lancashire towns such as Burnley and Accrington.

Alternatively, he can persist with ideological puritanism and finish at the end of December with an abrupt break that ultimately could break the UK. I hope his new MPs and some Lancashire old hands will help avert this epic disaster.

  • Sajjad Karim was MEP for Lancashire from 2004 to 2019 and was awarded the Parliament Magazine 2019 award for International Trade. He is now CEO of Haider Global, a Brusselsbased international strategic consultancy specialising in EU and government relations
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