by Alan Davies, FUW managing director
WHEN I was a little lad, I lived in London, but as both my parents were from Ceredigion we spent nearly all our holidays in Wales visiting family. I remember my father talking about “going down to Lampeter”. And indeed when we got there people in Ceredigion talked about “going up to London”.
Now that I split my time between Cardiff and Aberystwyth I hear people in Aber talking about “going down to Cardiff” for a weekend and people in Cardiff about “going up to Aber” for a break.
But whatever the reason for the journey, how can these directions make sense? From Cardiff it’s “UP” to both London and Aberystwyth and of course from Aberystwyth and London it’s “DOWN” to Cardiff.
I just don’t understand it, because don’t we all have a sense of direction? Although I did meet someone once who had absolutely no sense of direction and could only leave the house with a GPS/SatNav to tell him where to go and how to get home. He knew what he wanted and where he wanted to go, but he had to have someone else there to tell him how to get there.
Now isn’t that a great metaphor for what is happening today as we edge towards leaving the EU? Many know what they want and where they want to go, but others are dictating how we are going to get there.
We all know that we need to trade, but nobody is nailing their colours to the mast to ensure that it will be possible. We are often promised great deals, but often with countries that might be serious competitors.
How can that be taking us in a good direction?
And how will it happen even if the deals are done? I’m confused about the lack of visible engagement by companies in the business of moving food from farms all the way to shop shelves.
We talk regularly and often about the need for markets, but even if trade deals are done we still need some companies to open up the markets and to prepare, ship, transport and sell the produce that comes from our farms. But they are almost invisible at the moment in fighting a case for Brexit in any direction.
Which leaves the nation in a state of confusing concern. We are not clear about where we are going, or how fast we are going and when we are going to get there. There might even be crashes on the way. But please someone, give us a clear sense of direction. We need it, badly.