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What’s next for the Midlands’ economy after Covid and Brexit?

What’s on offer?

An online panel discussion on the future challenges and opportunities for the Midlands’ economy following Brexit and Covid. There will be a 10-minute presentation from the two lead researchers on their new project report and responses and interventions from three invited panellists from the local business community (15 minutes). This will be followed by a moderated discussion between the panel, fielding questions from the audience using Slido (35 minutes). Invited panellists include those from local law and financial services firms (e.g Freeths LLP) and business networks (e.g. Nottingham City Business Network) as well as small businesses in the creative sector (e.g. Ginger Root) with which the researchers already have connections.

What’s it about?

The session will present new research findings on the impact of Brexit and Covid on the Midlands’ economy, paying particular attention to the services sector. It is based on a new report to be launched in November 2021 for the UK in a Changing Europe written by the applicants. The report is based around ongoing research from Professor Sarah Hall’s ESRC fellowship on Brexit and economic implications, particularly in relation to the service sector. This builds on the first such report written by the applicants that was released in June 2020 and was covered in several media outlets including The Daily Telegraph and The Mirror. Whilst the report is national in scope, in this event we will focus exclusively on the Midlands. Much of the discussion in the media on the impact of Brexit to date has been on manufacturing. However, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) largely ignored the service sector despite it accounting for around 80% of the UK economy and 46% of its exports in 2019. The services sector has also been differentially impacted by Covid. Many high value services such as financial and legal services have continued reasonably well through working from home but are likely to be impacted by Brexit. However, high street services have been badly impacted by Covid but are not tradeable and hence less immediately impacted by Brexit. Understanding these dynamics is important in the Midlands as cities such as Nottingham rely heavily on the full range of services sector activity. As the service sector reopens after the Covid-19 pandemic, and the implications of the Brexit trade deal become clearer, we will explore the likely impacts of the lack of provisions in the TCA for the Midlands and what this might mean for service providers across the region. After the presentation of our findings, we will open the floor for a Q+A session with the audience.

Who’s leading the event?

Professor Sarah Hall, Senior Research Fellow on the UK in a Changing Europe on Brexit Services project and Professor of Economic Geography, University of Nottingham and Dr Martin Heneghan Assistant Professor in Social and Public Policy, University of Nottingham, former Research Fellow for the UK in a Changing Europe project on Brexit and Services.

Open to

The event is open to all members of the public.

Of particular interest to

Of particular interest to those who have a stake in the East Midlands service sector alongside those interested in the specific economic impact of the UK’s new trading relationship to the European Union. This will include students, businesses, local trade organisations and policy makers (e.g. the Bank of England Agent for the Midlands).

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