HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - This weekend, Congressman Robert Aderholt is giving a tour of North Alabama to Jim McMahon, a member of of UK's Parliament. It's a part of an exchange program between the U.S. and United Kingdom.
It should come as no surprise one of McMahon's first stops in the Rocket City was at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center itself. His visit comes as news of the Brexit has launched the UK into an era of uncertainty. “I think challenging whether a referendum on such a significant but complex issue is probably a fair challenge, but the minute you decide that referendum is going to take place, you’ve got to honor the result. You can’t ask what people think and when they come up with an answer they don’t like, you try to ignore it. You’ve got to respect the will of the people," says McMahon.
The Labour Party MP says he takes a pragmatic approach to the Brexit; that whether you like it or not, here it comes, so the government needs to make the best of a difficult situation. “We’re still a part of Europe even if we’re not a part of the EU and we need to make sure we maintain healthy relationships with our trading partners," he says.
He says he recognizes the struggles that may come for Britain, and world markets, as they split from the EU. “We know there is stability needed particularly for the financial markets and of course we’re aware of the political turmoil that we’re in following the Brexit result. The ownership is on all of us at Westminster that we provide stability," says McMahon.
Part of countering the effects of Brexit, is growing the economy and adding jobs. That's where his visit to North Alabama transitions from sightseeing to educational. McMahon says his district used to be the industrial heartland of Great Britain. “But a lot of jobs have gone now. We need to think about where the next generation of new jobs will be and how to create growth at a grassroots level and I’ve been around and I’ve seen the buildings here. I’ve seen the jobs that have been created here. What I see are really decent quality jobs that provide for a better community," he says.
Only proving it's not just our neighboring states keeping an eye on the Valley, the world is watching. “I want to know how that’s been achieved and hopefully take that back," says McMahon.