With the rest of the country talking Brexit, I’ve been giving some thought to Fowey Exit or Fexit.
Cornwall had the lowest per capita income of any region in the EU when it invested £350million between 2000 and 2006 and then a second round until 2013. As a start up company during that period Rugged Interactive was the recipient of a loan and a couple of small grants to help us out develop our products and pay for some tooling.
Therefore there is no surprise that I am a not a supporter of Fexit.
We have recently begun to export to Qatar and already export to the US and from experience it’s far, far easier to move products across European borders than further flung international regions. Our products are simple to understand and operate for anyone of whatever nationality so to distance ourselves from what’s considered the biggest market in the world would be illogical.
I understand why supporters of Fexit find elements of the EU so frustrating, but a lot of the influence from Brussels has been positive and frankly would have been in place whether we were part of Europe or not.
As a country with the ear of the USA and a place at the EU high table we occupy an enviable position.
There are bad things of course - the fishing quota is particularly harsh and felt acutely in Cornwall, but for every downside there’s usually a subsidy.
One phrase that’s often heard is ‘the rest of Europe ignore the laws they don’t want to adhere to’ and that’s quite possibly true - but that also goes well with the Cornish ‘Dreckly’ as in ‘I’ll do it Dreckly’ so I’m sure Cornish companies have taken advantage when it suits them.
Overall - we’re all part of the European family whether we like it or not - and for Rugged Interactive and the rest of Cornwall, we say NO to Fexit.