1 July 2016
Reasons for Optimism after Brexit
There’s no hiding the fact that this has been a tumultuous week for the UK after Brexit.
Last Thursday the British public voted – by the slender margin of 51.9% to 48.1% – to leave the European Union. The immediate aftermath was bloody, with a plunging pound, huge losses on the FTSE 100 and 250, the resignation of the PM and a vote of no confidence in the leader of the opposition.
And with perfect timing, as if to underline the fact that all is not well back in Blighty, the England football team slumped to an ignominious defeat against Iceland – a country with a population smaller than Coventry, whose football team had never before qualified for a major tournament and were managed by a part-time dentist.
As the country endured the hangover from this seismic double-whammy on Tuesday morning it seemed there was little cause for hope. But taking a little time to pause for reflection, one begins to recognise reasons for optimism. Where we fear becoming a small-minded isolationist outpost on the edge of Europe, we can start to engage with the continent in a brand new way to drive real change. And where we fear being a laughing stock on the football field we can look to the other sports in which we excel, as well as the world class sporting events that take place in our back yard, and realise that in fact, as a sporting nation, we are punching above our weight as never before.
Let’s examine some of the reasons for optimism.
1. Change Creates Opportunity
We’ve been told again and again that the markets dislike uncertainty, and the initial reaction to Brexit was swift and troubling. But after that initial shock, the FTSE rallied, the pound steadied and the sun continued to rise in the morning. Anger began to give way to acceptance, and Remainers began to reflect: the country is going to change, and we must be involved in making that change positive. Swathes of disenfranchised and unrepresented Brits have finally had their voice heard and become directly involved in the democratic process. The new leaders that emerge post-Brexit cannot afford to ignore them again. The Britain that emerges should be more inclusive, should listen to its people and – far from becoming isolated – look out on the entire world as partners in trade and friends in collaboration for the common good.
2. We’re Good at Rugby Again
Back in October England’s rugby players were providing their own version of the footballers’ farce by going out of their own World Cup at the group stages. 8 months later, the team is unbeaten in 9 matches, has won the Six Nations Grand Slam and just completed a 3-0 Whitewash of Australia in their own back yard. In the process we’ve gone from 8th in the world rankings to 2nd. If ever there was a story of triumph emerging from disaster, this is it.
Watch England take on South Africa and Australia this November, and France and Scotland this spring in the Six Nations, with hospitality in the Lewis Moody VIP Club.
3. We’re Also Pretty Good at Cricket!
England’s cricketers have also picked themselves up off the floor to emerge as a force to be reckoned with in all forms of the game. This England side reached their nadir in Sydney early in 2014, when forced to reflect on a 5-0 drubbing in the Ashes. Since then, in Tests they have beaten India and regained the Ashes at home, and earned a superb away win in South Africa before brushing aside Sri Lanka this summer. In One Day Internationals they’ve beaten New Zealand at home and Pakistan away – a monumental task. And in Twenty20 they’ve reached the Final of the World T20 competition, thwarted only by some West Indian genius in the last over.
Watch England take on Pakistan at the Oval this summer, with hospitality at the Phil Tufnell Sky Terrace Experience.
4. We have the Best Sporting Events Calendar in the World
It sounds like a brag, but it is genuine! No other country can match our calendar of huge international sporting events. This decade we’ve already hosted two of the biggest sporting tournaments in the world in the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup. But even outside those, year-on-year we have an incredible programme of major global events, as well as the world’s best football league.
Below are the major sporting events still to come in this calendar year. Please click on any of the events for further information about our ticket and hospitality packages.
June / July Summer: Henley Regatta
July Formula 1: The British Grand Prix
July Golf: The Open Championship
August Cricket: England v Pakistan
August (onwards) Football: The Premier League
November Rugby: The Autumn Internationals
November Tennis: The ATP World Tour Finals
December Tennis: The Masters
5. This is a Golden Time for British Sports
We’ve cited rugby and cricket as two examples of English sport excelling on the global scene, but in reality we enjoy a level of excellence across the board that few countries can claim to match:
- Andy Murray is ranked 2 in the world and is a huge hope for Wimbledon.
- Lewis Hamilton is the best Formula 1 driver of his generation and will be hoping to go for his 4th
- World Championship come the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.
- UK Sport believes that British competitors can win 79 medals at the Rio Olympics, eclipsing the 65 that they won in London.
- In boxing, we have 2 World Heavyweight Champions in Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, and a unification bout could be a huge story in 2017.
- We are the Davis Cup champions in tennis and continue our defense in Serbia this July.
So, tempting though it may be to feel that we’re a little island regressing into the shadows, some reflection should lead you to the conclusion that while Britain is changing, it is also an outward-facing, world-leading, history-making international destination that wants to do business with the world. And beat them in the sporting arena.
Whatever changes, long may that continue.