The EU, Brexit and the North – SPERI takes the debate to Manchester

brexit-Manchester-300With one week to go until the EU referendum SPERI took the debate to Manchester and hosted a very successful large public debate in Manchester on the referendum, ‘Brexit’ and the possible impact on the North of England. In the grand setting of the Engine Hall at the People’s History Museum a high-profile panel of speakers set out their views and debated a wide range of points and questions raised by our passionate audience.

We were delighted to have a fantastic line-up of speakers on our panel from both sides of the referendum campaign. Lisa Nandy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change & Labour MP for Wigan and Mike Emmerich, founding director of Metro Dynamics, made the case for remaining in the EU. Graham Stringer MP, Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, put forward arguments for why we should leave the EU. Dr Craig Berry, Deputy Director of SPERI, was the final member of the panel and provided analysis of both sides of the campaign and the possible impact of Brexit on the North of England. Danni Hewson, Business and Money correspondent for BBC Look North, expertly chaired the debate.

The wide-ranging debate covered immigration policy and the free movement of labour, sovereignty, as well as climate change and EU environmental protections; EU regional development funds, employment rights and lots more besides. You can catch up on all of the tweets from the event via the #SPERIEURef hashtag and SPERI’s twitter account @SPERIShefUni. Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to a great discussion.

brexit-Manchester-roundtable-300Earlier in the day SPERI held a roundtable discussion at the University of Manchester, which explored the theme of ‘Greater Manchester and Brexit: prospects for industry, growth and local economic resilience’.  We were joined by three keynote speakers Colin Talbot (Professor of Government, University of Manchester), Thomas Aubrey (Director of the Centre for Progressive Capitalism) and Christian Spence (Head of Research and Policy, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce) who opened the discussion. We discussed how a possible ‘Brexit’ would affect Greater Manchester and northern regional economies and explored a range of themes including the impact of a possible Sterling devaluation on manufacturing; the views of Greater Manchester businesses towards the EU and exports from the North to the EU and beyond.

Both Events|News were part of SPERI’s new programme which is exploring the relationship between the UK’s regions and the EU. Read our new research briefs which highlight the ‘Brexit’ risks for the UK’s poorest regions.