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Brexit is set to be the top issue in the coming UK election. Where does that leave engineering?

The UK will leave the European Union within two years. This month it triggered Article 50, which starts the process. With a general election scheduled for June 8, that's all we know for certain.

What will make Brexit good or bad for engineering? Our Brussels correspondent, Pelle Neroth, has the unenviable task of making sense of what it will all mean for the engineering and technology industry in the UK and beyond. In that he is not alone though, as various UK engineering organisations have been publishing reports and issuing statements on the problems and opportunities of life outside the EU. 

You just can’t tell what he will do next. As the small print says, past performance should not be taken as an indicator of future results. In this case, neither should party policies nor presidential tweets.This is the difficult background against which our Washington correspondent sets out to navigate the first four months of Trump’s presidency. Yet while there are many uncertainties about his policies on everything from trade to defence, Trump has already signed so many presidential decrees that there is plenty of real substance now to assess, from immigration to environmental policy. Paul Dempsey gauges the reaction from the US engineering and technology industry and from Silicon Valley in particular. 

Business is always ultimately pragmatic and, in my experience, it is always more negative about a change before it happens than after. Brexit is no exception to that rule, but the statements still range from limiting the damage of a Brexit to a more gung-ho grabbing of the opportunities of life outside the EU – even to the extent of advocating a similar approach to America’s on international climate change rules.

 

E&T magazine cover May 2017

E&T May 2017

Image credit: E&T magazine

 

If you’ve had enough of Trump, Brexit, Le Pen and all the rest, then you need a break – and for that we have plenty of other features to take your mind off world politics for a while. Look forward to a summer of sailing as we catch up with Team Land Rover BAR and their bid to bring the America’s Cup back for Britain. Nick Smith talks to Ben Ainslie, who is the team leader, multiple Olympic medalist and former America’s Cup winner (for the US), about why it matters so much to British sailors. He also goes behind the scenes at the team’s Bermuda base to find out what it takes to design and build a world-beating catamaran (we hope!)

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