SOUTH WEST AND WALES FACING THE WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EU: MAPPING NEEDS, STRATEGIES AND VOICE
This community previously received Initiator Funding for the project: Wales and South West Responses and Preparations for Brexit and UK Trade Policy
Project period: January – March 2018
GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Dr Maria Garcia (PI)
University of Bristol: Dr Clair Gammage
Cardiff University: Dr Jo Hunt
University of Exeter: Dr David Thackeray
The project seeks to facilitate knowledge exchange between the region’s academic and business communities and to help map regional needs and a regional strategy in response to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and future trade policy.
The complex process of withdrawal from the EU presents major challenges for the business community in the South West and Wales. It needs to adapt to changing scenarios (changes to agricultural policy affecting farming and fisheries, to industrial policy affecting aerospace and related industries, to migration policies affecting the creative and hospitality industries, to trade policies affecting all economic sectors), whilst lacking knowledge, resources and time to devote to the process. It presents a unique opportunity for strengthened collaboration between the diverse expertise on aspects of the process (migration, trade law, constitutional constraints, regional economic clusters) across GW4 institutions, and the region’s business community.
The community was drawn from academics across various departments (History, Law, Politics, Management) from all 4 institutions. Contact was also established with colleagues and stakeholders elsewhere in the region. The Initiator Funds were used to organise two workshops, one between GW4 academics and regional business associations and businesses discussing how businesses were being affected by the uncertainty around Brexit and what actions (if any) they were taking; and one between GW4 academics and regional policymakers discussing how policymakers in the regions where trying to influence the Brexit process and how they were engaging businesses and publics on the matter. Findings from these workshops were summarised in a Policy Brief published by the Institute of Policy Research. The community continued to collaborate through a GW4 Accelerator award.