The Midlands has been quiet on Brexit, overshadowed by Scotland, Sunderland and the City of London. What does Birmingham require from the brexit negotiations?
Our time has now come to step out of London’s shadow. But there is an awkward question to address in its relationship with the rest of the Combined Authority made up of Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The Midlands must accept Birmingham as the region’s beacon city for attracting inward investment. These funds will benefit all who shelter under the combined authority of the West Midlands.
So why Birmingham? Three reasons; It has momentum, it is the region’s international brand and it has the cultural cache to attract and retain the brightest and the best.
Birmingham needs tariff free access to the EU. The Range Rovers and Jaguars must be allowed to compete on a equal footing with the Mercedes and the Audi’s.
Birmingham needs Government investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.) HS2 is coming, Birmingham Airport is growing and tomorrow’s cars need you to buy them, even if they won’t require you to drive them.
The six Universities in Birmingham need to attract overseas students. These young people bring with them spending power and return to their countries as ambassadors for the region.
Birmingham needs the Arts to continue and flourish. They are a magnet for national and international visitors. The Arts are a catalyst for inspiring creative thought. Why do we need creatives? Tomorrow’s problems will not be solved by today’s solutions.
British pride has to manifest itself in greater prosperity and exporting values of fairness, equality and opportunity. Pride is a bridge, it is not a wall.
This is what Birmingham needs to become New York, Barcelona, Mumbai, Munich or Shanghai. Second cities that are engines of growth for their regions and flag bearers for their countries.
Brexiters want us to embrace the world, let’s start by embracing Birmingham.