COMMENT: We need answers on life after Brexit soon

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So, with exactly a year to go until Brexit day, we find ourselves no nearer to finding concrete answers on many of the questions about what will happen after we leave the EU.

Our national leadership is lacking in a coherent message and our negotiators are reported to have been left floundering and outmanoeuvred.

Meanwhile, there continue to be those back home who call for a second referendum, as some polls predict that if there were to be another referendum now the outcome would be rather different.

It has become the divisive subject of our times – try bringing up Brexit in the company of strangers and watch polite discourse go out of the window. Having a sensible debate on the matter online has become impossible as both sides become further entrenched in the correctness of their views.

But, aside from the unexpected side-effect of giving the remaining EU nations something to pull together on, how life will look on this side of the fence on March 30, 2019, is less clear.

There are those who say the financial implications for the UK will be dire, while the Brexiteers claim that by freeing us from the shackles of the EU, trade will soar.

Here in Portsmouth, the port will be one of the most visible institutions to be affected by Brexit, and concerns are rightly being raised that our nation’s ports are not an ‘after-thought’ in the process.

It is an important point, and one that must be stressed – our ports remain key routes for trade in and out of the UK. The role they play post-Brexit will be more important than ever.

We need assurances and detailed plans, and we need them soon.

As always, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We can only hope that it doesn’t leave us feeling sick next March.