By Gordon Lundie.
As someone who actively campaigned to stop Brexit in 2016, today is a day to move on.
With the deal done, and our future relationship with Europe agreed, we now must start looking outwards. I work in the global science research industry, and spent over 20 years employed by companies such as AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, and this sector, more than any other, needs open borders and cooperation. So it was instinctive for me to see myself as a Remainer. I did not find this position through any love of the EU, but through seeing the benefits of collaboration and teamwork.
But these were never qualities that were delivered by the EU –they have been central to the British way of life for over 200 years, from when we created the industrial revolution and were the workshop of the world. For the last five years I have worked for an American biotech company – and we have brought the same collaboration and teamwork to our collaborations with UK hospitals and Universities – regardless of the US relationship with the EU.
Now that the UK is free to make our own agreements, we can have a student exchange scheme in the form of Turing, that will surpass the benefits of Erasmus. We will be able to use industrial policy to support the development of key industries where we face global competition, often subsidised by their governments – we can “level the playing field” though targeted support. Our global business will now be free to expand into markets of their choosing – not those determined by our EU trade agreements.
During the Brexit campaign there was one line of the Leave campaign that I could always agree with – “We are more than a star on someone else’s flag”. It’s time to back Britain and our future success – not look backwards as a part of Europe.