Finally, they have released the moorings and are off. Goodbye Britain!

Published 27/12, 2019 at 16:47

Britain is set to leave the EU, again, following Boris Johnson’s recent landslide general election victory.

The first time it appeared this was going to happen was following the referendum. This began what appeared to those outside the UK to be a ‘funny political game’. This kept the whole of the EU frustrated until most of us reached breaking point and just wanted clarity on what was going to happen, and what sought of ‘Brexit’ the British wanted. For an outsider such as myself, it felt for a while as if there was a majority of the British people who wanted to remain in the EU. Corbyn's promise, if he came to power, to have a new referendum, confirmed this. But oh how wrong we were. With Johnson's clear victory, the last nail in the coffin has been hit on Britain remaining in the EU.

Obviously, many British people really want to leave the EU, and due to the electoral system used in the UK (the ‘first past the post’ system) there is a now a clear majority in Parliament for this to happen. And as the election and referendum have decided this, then they should of course do so. However, much of Europe deeply regrets this. Personally, I find it all very tedious and can see that it will make international collaboration with the UK more difficult, although many in the UK do not seem able to accept this fact. There is also a great risk that the EU will be weakened forcing the EU's attitude to the UK to harden. 

This makes the agreement that will be made between the EU and the UK very important, as will what it contains. If the countries that are still in the EU wish to safeguard the value of belonging to the European Union, any agreement must ensure that Britain is not granted too many exceptions to EU rules, otherwise it would lead to more countries thinking of leaving. This could easily lead to the complete collapse of the EU, even if there is no sound basis for it. To be perfectly honest, I myself was very sceptical about the EU at first; I didn't really see the benefits of Sweden being involved, but now my views have changed significantly. Today I see many benefits in EU membership as well as shortcomings, as membership, as with any club, comes with all kinds of conditions. If the benefits outweigh the negatives then you should continue. In particular, I believe that EU membership is still valuable today, especially given developments in the rest of the world, which have led to so much uncertainty.

I have talked enough about Britain and the UK and there is nothing we can do to change the fact that the UK is leaving. The only way to proceed is to look ahead. Soon it will be Christmas and we will welcome in a New Year. Positive signals from the new EU Central Bank president Christine Lagarde on the EU's economic development signals hopes that the downturn in Europe will not be as severe as expected. We can also see that in my home market of Sweden, which in the autumn suffered a downturn, the outlook for 2020 is actually quite good, with optimism to be found in the demolition and concrete cutting industry as there is much to do.

With these factors in mind, the final issue of Professional Demolition 2019 is packed with reports, themed articles and company press releases. Amongst other things, we have published our annual features on demolition robots, diamond tools and dust suppression equipment. Next year will be a pretty big year for us and it is worth mentioning that this is the show issue for World of Concrete 2020, which will be distributed from our booth located in the central hall in Las Vegas. The magazine will also be celebrating its 20th anniversary and once again, for the 10th time, we will be organising the Demcon demolition and concrete cutting show in Stockholm. 

All of us at PDi would like to take the opportunity to thank all our readers and advertisers for helping to make 2019 such an excellent year and to wish you all a great festive.

Jan Hermansson

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