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Oct 09

Conglomerates’ days are over – Brexit shows the way

In the last quarter of the last century, conglomerates were all the rage – the bigger the organisation, the better – CEO Owen Green built BTR – British Tyre and Rubber – into a huge business covering engineering, packaging, materials, building products and polymers

He then merged with DunlopSumitomo rubber industries, Hawker Siddeley aircraft production, Nylex industrial products, Siebe control systems and Baan, a Dutch software group

In the process, the company ‘lost control of its myriad operations’ so, in 1999, it renamed itself Invensys and, ever since, has been divesting – the company now focuses on production and energy management alone

This story reflects what has been happening generally across the corporate world

To be BIG is no longer the target – SMALL is often more competitive – specialisation, speed and service now determine winners, not size

Much the same can be said of the current European Union conglomerate

28 different nations, each with different strengths and weaknesses, each having different histories, cultures, languages and laws, each at different stages of economic development, have been struggling to work together using one currency, parliament and legal system

But loss of control there has been rearing its head for at least a decade already – witness complaints about the Shengen agreement and the inability of many member nations to devalue their currency e.g. Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy

And now the UK is the first nation to follow the corporate trend and divest itself from the EU straitjacket – but many others can be expected to follow

Brexit is all about wrestling back control over (n.b. not stopping) UK immigration levels, plus the laws we live by, plus who we trade with and how

Most Brits are appalled when told what to do by unelected, unaccountable, unheard-of and yet grossly overpaid third-rate Brussels eurocrats – and not only do they have to obey them but also pay for the privilege

The EU (i.e. the eurocrats alone) quite openly admit to wanting to become one federal state, even with its own armed forces

That is not what most Brits ever wanted or voted for – the great majority want – indeed, still want – to be members of a european common market, with agreed trading rules, but no more than that

Perhaps that’s the eventual solution for all the EU’s current problems?

 

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