The EU Referendum, Brexit and the UK’s regions – new SPERI research and event series

eu-uk-flags image-200On Thursday 23 June Britain will hold a historic referendum to decide whether to remain in or leave the European Union. SPERI has launched a new programme of research and Events|News to explore the relationship between the UK’s regions and devolved nations and the European Union, with a particular focus on the North of England, and consider the implications of a possible ‘Brexit’ on the regional dimension of the UK/EU relationship.

The programme is being conducted jointly with colleagues from Cities@Manchester, a research hub at the University of Manchester, and is supported by the ESRC’s ‘The UK in a Changing Europe programme.

Two new forthcoming SPERI Briefs, both to be published before the referendum, will present new findings about the UK regions and their receipt of EU structural funds, and on how the UK’s regions and nations interact with the EU, focusing on manufacturing exports to the EU.

Alongside our new research we will also hold a series of Events|News in Manchester and Sheffield:

The EU Referendum, Brexit and the North of England – public debate in Manchester, June 15th

On Wednesday June 15th, one week before the referendum, we have organised a free public debate at the People’s History Museum in Manchester to discuss the impact of ‘Brexit’ on the North of England. A high-profile panel of speakers from both sides of the referendum campaign will join us to debate whether the North will be better or worse off if there a vote to ‘leave’, and to discuss the impact of Brexit on northern industry, public services and our everyday lives. The panellists will include:

  • Lisa Nandy MP. Labour Member of Parliament for Wigan and Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
  • David Davis MP. Conservative Member of Parliament for Haltemprice and Howden.
  • Will Hutton. Political economist, commentator and author.
  • Mike Emmerich. Founding director of Metro Dynamics and a key figure in the Manchester devolution deal.

The event is free and demand for places will be high. Register today to secure your place.

Roundtable discussion Events|News: Northern city-region economies and Brexit – prospects for industry, growth and local economic resilience

In June we will also hold two roundtable discussions to explore the potential economic impact of ‘Brexit’ on Sheffield City Region and on Greater Manchester. Both Events|News will provide a forum for business representatives, policymakers and academics to discuss the EU’s role in local and regional northern economic development strategies, the immediate economic issues for Sheffield and Manchester city region economies posed by Brexit, but also on the long-term challenges facing the Northern economy and how the North achieves long-term sustainable economic growth, whatever the outcome of the vote on June 23rd.

  • The Sheffield roundtable event will be held at the University of Sheffield on June 9th. Keynote speakers will be Linda McAvan MEP, Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber and Richard Wright, Executive Director of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Danni Hewson, Business and Money correspondent for BBC Look North Yorkshire, will chair the event.
  • The Manchester roundtable event will be held at the University of Manchester on June 15th. Keynote speakers will be: Colin Talbot, Professor of Government, University of Manchester; Thomas Aubrey, Director of the Centre for Progressive Capitalism and founder of Credit Capital Advisory, and Christian Spence, Head of Research & Policy, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Places for limited for both roundtable Events|News. If you would be interested in attending or would like to find out more please email Tom Hunt, Policy Research Officer at SPERI –