As Michael Caine might have said, not a lot of people know that the small Scottish town of Prestonpans played such a key role in our industrial revolution and specifically the founding of the chemical industry.
We owe a lot to pioneers Roebuck and Garbett and perhaps, on the verge of another economic overhaul, this is an appropriate time to recall their ingenuity.
For Brexit presents a considerable challenge and whatever the pros and cons, it represents an almighty leap in the dark for much of British industry.
That’s especially true in the case of the chemicals sector, for the simple reason that so much of it relies on the European Union’s vast internal market.
It might be that UK negotiators will extract a deal that maintains the status quo but it’s doubtful many are betting on that.
EU withdrawal will not dissociate us from many of the same problems, such as market scale and the balance between global competitiveness and sustainability
For some, as we are reminded in this month’s cover feature, that will matter less because their focus is beyond Europe. And it might be pointed out that the EU represents a distinctly mature market with the focus shifting elsewhere rapidly.
Maybe so, but EU withdrawal will not dissociate us from many of the same problems, such as market scale and the balance between global competitiveness and sustainability.
In some cases we have no choice but to adapt to events and deals as they unfold. Not on the domestic front where, what government has expressed in terms of general inclinations, the likes of NEPIC have provided an effective prescription for concrete action.