By Andrew Baxter, MD of logistics operator Europa Worldwide Group and a vocal supporter of Brexit who has been asked to appear in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee twice in 2017 to give his views on trade.
Europa Worldwide Group’s specialist division, Europa Showfreight, has managed logistics and project handling at a range of high profile events all over the world, including SPOGA in Cologne, Expo Vending in Brazil, Heli Expo UK, WHEC in Seoul and SIFE in Shenzen.
Last year (2016) Europa Showfreight saw its most successful year for a decade with a double-digit increase in turnover, profits and consignments with much of the success coming post Brexit.
Now that we are gearing up for the Prime Minister to officially trigger Article 50 on 29 March, I think the government should be focusing its attention on the global picture.
There’s a lot of speculation about how no deal with the EU would be a ‘disaster’ for the UK, but I don’t think that’s the case. In an ideal world, yes we want a deal – but in reality it is important that the government gets comfortable with the idea of no deal and projects confidence to the EU in all negotiations.
Britain needs to see itself as a global player, a hub for free trade, the most attractive central base for businesses from across the world. There is a magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity now to capitalise on this new-found freedom once we leave the EU – to quickly establish Britain as the global centre for capitalism.
In my opinion, the simplest and most effective route to putting Britain at the heart of free trade is for the government to drop corporation tax as low as possible – and we would soon see Britain become the number one location for world head offices. We already have the reputation, the connections, the talent and the expertise in the UK to attract major businesses, we just need to focus on striking up the best deals with the rest of the world, something which has been hampered by our membership of the EU.
Established in 1966, Europa Worldwide Group employs 600 people across 12 sites in the UK plus Hong Kong and is represented in 100 countries.