David Vance: Stop denying Brexit – the UK is open for business

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On June 23rd the people of the United Kingdom voted to LEAVE the European Union.

Theresa May, our new prime minister, has subsequently stated that “Brexit means Brexit” and that the UK “must” control the number of people coming to Britain while pursuing a “positive outcome” for trade. 

David Vance at the News Letter � Photo-William Cherry/Presseye

David Vance at the News Letter � Photo-William Cherry/Presseye

In short, we are on our way out of the narrow constrictions of the failing EU and into the limitless opportunities of the broader world.

Yet when one listens to assorted petulant voices at Stormont we discover a strange parallel universe.

The SDLP leader Colm Eastwood has declared that his party will do everything possible to stop Brexit.

Eastwood insists “We must not tolerate a situation where the future of the North and of this island is again determined by Tories at Chequers.”

Mr Eastwood should at least show the courtesy of stating the name of the country that pays his salary – it’s Northern Ireland.

Secondly, whether he and his fellow travellers like it or not, we have a majority Conservative government until 2020 and conceivably long beyond that.

He needs to do a reality check and lose the provincial hubris.

In the 2015 general election, the Conservatives won 306 seats, the SDLP won three.

The monkey does not instruct the organ grinder.

Weeping Remainers in Northern Ireland insist that because the majority here voted 55% vs 45% in favour of staying then the UK government must respect this and ensure that somehow we “stay’ in the EU.

However several constituencies in Northern Ireland including the one I live in, Upper Bann, voted to Leave so shouldn’t our wish be respected?

One of those most strident in her views that we must miraculously stay in the EU is East Belfast MLA Naomi Long.

Deliciously East Belfast delivered a verdict in favour of Leaving!

Her boss, David Ford, saw his constituency of South Antrim also vote to Leave.

Some may wonder if Alliance place greater faith in the EU than in the expressed wishes of their constituents?

In a further delightful twist, given the recent massive multi billion fine imposed by the EU upon Apple in the Republic of Ireland and against the expressed wishes of the Irish Government, might it become a possibility that in order to sustain its commercial tax base the Republic has to also leave the European Union?

If so, what would our local Don Quixote’s find to flail at?

Two months after the United Kingdom has spoken, we have seen our economy defy the doom laden forecasts of some local experts.

The Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has found himself “on the wrong side of history” to borrow a phrase.

The FTSE 250 is higher now than before we voted, employment has risen, inflation is at a low, a more realistic British Pound helps exporters.

We have seen 27 countries from every continent on earth signalling their intention to strike a deal with us.

The total GDP of all of these countries is nearly $50 trillion dollars – 67% of global GDP.

In comparison, the European Union’s GDP of $16 trillion equates to just 22%.

Britain is open for business and as part of this Northern Ireland stands at a new dawn.

Embrace it, stop denying it.

• David Vance is a political commentator and author of ‘Unionism Decayed’