AFTER a week visiting businesses across my constituency, it is clear that the substitution of hard-headed strategy by Brexit bravado is likely to do irreparable damage.
Of course a fall in the value of the pound means it is cheaper for tourists to visit the UK and more expensive for UK residents to visit Europe, which will undoubtedly boost the south west’s vital hospitality businesses. 
However, I also visited a company that imports food for wholesalers and hospitality outlets. They have seen the prices they pay increase by 10 per cent. The sudden change meant they were not able to pass the increase down the supply chain, which has led to a substantial hit on their business.
My visits reinforced the large number of small but highly skilled manufacturing companies we have in the south west. 
Contrary to popular myth, UK manufacturing is placed 11th in the global league table and accounts for 54 per cent of UK exports. 
But UK manufacturing is highly vulnerable because so many companies are owned by foreign parent companies. 
Why would these companies accept the instabilities thrown up by Brexit rather than offshore jobs to Poland or Lithuania?
Brexit is the final nail in the coffin of the myth that the Conservatives are the Party of business. 
The promises of rapidly increasing markets in Australia or China ring hollow because the reality for so many businesses is their compass is set firmly on European markets. Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol are the top three cities in the UK exporting to the EU.
Ex-Prime Minister John Major has put the Brexit shambles succinctly: “Obstacles are brushed aside as of no consequence, whilst opportunities are inflated beyond any reasonable expectation of delivery.”
Molly Scott Cato
Green MEP
South West