Looking out over The City from the Olympian heights of our hotel room in The Shard’s Shangri-La, London never felt more like another country. The complimentary copy of Time Out which was in our room had a front page open letter addressed “Dear World…”
This trip was booked long before Brexit and could never be booked now. The next time, if ever, that I can afford to come back, things may be very different. Every single one of the charming, hard-working, bend-over-backwards staff of the Shangri-La that I met was Eastern European.
Somewhere down there, near the foot of the “walkie-talkie” (aka 20 Fenchurch Street), is the London office of my employer. I’m on vacation but I wonder what sort of conversations are taking place in that office right now. The EU’s data protection legislation alone is enough to put me on the dole once we are out. I can’t pretend to understand the “passporting” arrangements that allow financial institutions to operate across the EU. But I know that without those arrangements we are screwed.
It’s now clear that the government’s post-Brexit planning is about as thorough as the planning for the aftermath of the Iraq war. We’re 13 years into the consequences of that and there is no end in sight.