It is hard to know what a post-Brexit landscape will look like, whether it’s here in the Portsmouth area or a more national level. It could potentially be apocalyptic, or it could be like the Y2K computer bug which was supposed to cause chaos as Big Ben chimed in the new millennium. A huge anti-climax, therefore.
But Brexit is coming, whether we like it or not, and today this paper praises Portsmouth City Council for its work in creating formal ties with Bangladesh.
There is absolutely no place for insularity within our councils, that much is obvious. In a post-Brexit environment they should be proactive rather than reactive. That gives them a far better chance of succeeding.
The University of Portsmouth is hoping to attract students from Bangladesh to the city. That can only be healthy too. The amount of students in Portsmouth can sometimes by a slightly controversial topic, but the more that contribute to the city’s economy the better, surely?
There is also a sizeable Bangladeshi community in the city, and the council must work with them in a bid to ensure the partnership is as successful as possible.
‘We have to be masters of our own destiny here,’ says Cllr Steve Pitt, deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council
‘We can either sit back and let things happen to us or be proactive and reach out to other possibilities.
‘We have got a really significant community here with really great people and we should make the most of that.’
They are certainly true words, and if the Bangladesh link-up works – and why shouldn’t it? – then it is worth exploring other possible partnerships with non-European countries.
If some doors previously open are slammed shut by the fact we’re leaving the EU at the end of next month, so be it. We have to be positive, and if that means looking for doors that could more easily be opened on different continents, bring it on.