Based in JBP’s Westminster office I take lead on many of our public affairs and national media relations clients. It would therefore be fair to assume that my life, like everyone else’s in politics, is dominated by Brexit.
Indeed, like everyone else, I am saturated in Brexit ‘angles’ and Brexit problems. But, despite all the Brexit, JBP’s key growth clients are noticeably all dealing with issues ‘beyond Brexit.’
Over the past year we have become particularly engaged in the field of Artificial Intelligence and the fabled ‘4th Industrial Revolution,’ and tech more generally. With clients like the Big Innovation Centre we have spent much of our time reminding government that Brexit is but a drop in the ocean compared to the march of the robots and the power of AI. Working with the vaping sector we are looking at the public health agenda for decades to come; and yes Brexit presents opportunities for regulatory change, but it’s only a small part of the story.
Now that a deal of sorts has been struck, and we’re moving on to the future trade relationship with the EU ‘stuff’, I’m certain there will be more opportunities for the public affairs industry to push their clients’ agenda for the specifics they’ll want to see in the ‘post-Brexit’ environment. But pushing anything through in the cacophony of the next year is going to be challenging to say the least.
So who looks beyond Brexit?
The tech sector, given its fast-moving nature and forward-looking approach, will likely continue to be a huge growth area for consultancies. As their world increasingly collides with the newly ‘empowered’ Parliament, so too will they encounter the challenges of regulation and the new flexible opportunities there will be to influence it once it has ‘taken back control.’
If the government’s ambitions as outlined in their recent Industrial Strategy are realised, then the UK can truly stand tall as an international technology hub. The agency world has a real opportunity to support the UK’s start-up sector in communicating at an international level by reminding the world that there is indeed life beyond Brexit.