In his latest column for the Warrington Guardian, Steven Broomhead looks ahead to what might be in store in 2019

THE festive season gave some relaxation from the purgatory of the “B” word but it was still an undercurrent for our business community.

We are scheduled to leave the EU in three months’ time and there is a distinct possibility that this will be so without a negotiated deal.

The dominant view, talking to businesses in the town, is that this will create significant economic difficultly and disruption.

There are concerns that interest rates would have to rise and that trade will be badly affected.

There are also wider concerns about the linked issues of sluggish consumption, depressed investment following house price falls, a rise in inflation and a slump in the value of the pound.

So 2019 starts with a great deal of uncertainty which can only be resolved by Parliament taking the optimum decision – either to support the current deal that is on the table – or reject it and hope that something else will turn up.

The most important decision to be reached is clarity in our future relationships with the EU and for UK plc.

So it is a world of uncertainty, I offer six predictions for 2019:

  •  HS2 will hopefully be abandoned in its current form given its awesome escalating costs and poor value for money.
  •  Wire will win at least one piece of silverware given the presence in 2019 of a stronger and better balanced squad.
  •  Significant progress is made on the town’s major infrastructure projects; Time Square, Warrington West Railway Station in Chapelford and the Great Sankey Hub completion.
  •  The retail revolution will continue but our own Golden Square will receive new investment and will beat the 'hard times'.
  •  Austerity will still continue for public services and the real costs of this will be increasingly transferred to the public/business.
  •  Our local keyboard warriors will continue to exercise their views on every matter under the sun, about our great town, including this very column.

It’s good to be back.

Enjoy 2019.