Mark Casci: Celebrating what is great and good about Yorkshire business

Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards at the National Railway Museum in York.'Award winners'1st November 2018.
Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards at the National Railway Museum in York.'Award winners'1st November 2018.
0
Have your say

Just when there seems to be the faintest hint of light at the end of the tunnel, our departure from the European Union is once again hurled forcefully back into chaos.

With our departure from the EU now just 10 days away, we are no closer to resolving this existential crisis than ever before, and business will continue to suffer from the crippling uncertainty this issue has brought upon them.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 18: Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on March 18, 2019 in London, England. British Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to persuade DUP and Conservative MPs to vote for her EU withdrawal agreement which has twice been heavily voted down by the House of Commons. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 18: Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on March 18, 2019 in London, England. British Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to persuade DUP and Conservative MPs to vote for her EU withdrawal agreement which has twice been heavily voted down by the House of Commons. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Parliament has blocked us leaving on a no deal basis. This is a huge positive but one that requires the acquiescence of the EU member states to have any meaning.

Our law says we leave on March 29. However, Parliament has now rejected Mrs May’s plan to do so twice and has been told it cannot have another shot at voting upon it without substantive changes.

The issue polarises the nation but in one area there is broad agreement. Business leaders in the main just want this issue settled.

Virtually all campaign groups had called upon MPs to back the Withdrawal Agreement. They judged it would allow them to continue with the frictionless trade arrangements that allow them to move goods and services between the UK and member states.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow reads the result of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: House of Commons/PA Wire

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow reads the result of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 15, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: House of Commons/PA Wire

If adopted it would finally have allowed for some medium to long range planning for company bosses.

However, delay and more uncertainty now seems the most likely condition upon which we must operate.

I do not offer the above background by means of spreading doom and gloom. Too many of my colleagues in the media do this too often.

We should not lose sight of the fact that we are still one of the world’s premier economies, leading the way on financial services, advanced manufacturing and technology.

In the last 12 months huge names from across the world have picked Yorkshire as a place for investment and growth. Just this week Netcompany announced that Leeds will be its North of England headquarters.

I have said many times in the past two years that allowing ourselves to navel gaze on the Brexit mayhem is a more likely path to an economic downturn than the process itself.

If we talk our economy and our future down then we are effectively talking ourselves into a recession.

I am not suggesting complacency, far from it. By far the most considered and nuanced points on Brexit have come from our business leaders, who have a far greater understanding of how Britain trades with the world than many of our elected officials are ever likely to accrue.

That is why the Excellence in Business Awards is such a key event. Enter here.

As the largest business awards in the North of England, they highlight everything from major multinationals to those making the most progress on matters such as wellbeing.

They allow us to see and to celebrate best practice across all areas and show to the rest of the country, and to the world, that Yorkshire is well and truly open for business and ready to compete at the highest level.

It is this kind of way of operating that fosters a climate that can inspire and encourage others to take their own enterprises to the next level. A wiser man than myself observed recently that the last 1,000 years of British history have been largely about its efforts to define its relationship with Europe.

We cannot even allow the next 10 years to be consumed by this.

We are a global trading nation, that wants to trade easily and with no delays or red tape with businesses across Europe and the rest of the world. There are countless Yorkshire firms in this position.

While we may still be reaching for that elusive light at the end of the tunnel, there is still much to be done at home.

And taking some time to give a well-deserved pat on the back to our brightest and best entrepreneurs is a huge part of this. I urge as many firms as possible to enter this year’s event and I look forward to reading your entries.