by Jonathan Freedland
"That physical geography has not changed, but the psychological geography has. Suddenly it will make much less sense to headquarter a big international firm in London, or for a Japanese car-maker to locate a factory – one that aims to sell into Europe – in the north-east of England. Why do it, if you could be in Germany instead? Why come to post-Brexit Britain, where there could soon be the hassle of visas and tariffs and all the rest? Why bother?
The risk is that Britain becomes a kind of offshore oddity, quirky but irrelevant – shut out of the action of its neighbouring continent. That shift will be felt first by the City of London: perhaps few will shed any tears for them, even if financial services are – or used to be – one of this country’s biggest employers. But eventually that new view of Britain could percolate through, affecting our creative industries, our tourism and eventually our place in the world.
All of this will take some time. Who knows, perhaps the worst effects can be avoided altogether. But we should not be under any illusions. This is not the country it was yesterday. That place has gone for ever."