What’s next for the midlands economy after Covid and Brexit

An online panel discussion on the future challenges and opportunities for the Midlands’ economy following Brexit and Covid. All welcome.

About this event

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 Professor Sarah Hall and Dr Martin Heneghan.

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.

Code of Conduct: Everyone is welcome, and all views and perspectives will be respected and valued in the session.

This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2021 and was made possible thanks to funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

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