At @CityREDI's #BrexitRegionalImpact workshop to "discuss the likely impact of Brexit on the West Midlands economy & agree on the urgent actions that need to be taken in the crucial months ahead"

Will business take a stand for #PeoplesVote or roll over?…
It's hard to see how Brexit can be seen as anything but a disaster for the West Midlands, but I will listen to everyone and report back.
What's really special about the CityREDI Brexit Impact studies is that they don't just cover the UK but also the rest of the EU.
BrexitImpact on the EU isn't as bad as on the UK but it's still bad. Hard to imagine maintaining good relations after this harm.
Initial speaker Professor Daniel Wincott from @UKandEU explaining how the UK in a Changing Europe project originated and how it has developed.
There's a lot of good info on their website about Brexit

Next speaker is Lloyd Broad from @BhamCityCouncil trying to focus on "not crying into our cornflakes" about how bad Brexit is, and concentrate on trying to minimise the #Brexitregionalimpact on West Midlands.
Devolution is critical, but Central Government isn't talking to cities
He says @LGAcomms think that the only way to make a success of Brexit is to make partnerships between cities. As the National Government are cutting Local Government out of Brexit discussions, they went to the EU, trying to form bonds with @EUROCITIEStweet
Outcome of their meeting with Barnier was a commitment to a hearing at the EU, hopefully in July.

So regional & local government are independently trying to work on our behalf to maximise connections between European cities while UKGov tears us out of EU.
Next: examination of the effect on trade.
You cannot tell anything about an economy by looking at imports + exports. That's a simplistic political argument.

Need to use the global value chains, the way elements move.
Value Added in Exports is the end impact on local economy
Likely impact of Brexit on UK is 11-17% of GDP
4.6x higher than impact on EU.
All about supply chains
Compare to 3% in global financial crisis.

UK sectoral analysis shows huge £140B economic activity is at risk of damage, 2.5 million jobs.

We're screwed
Speaker from the Black Country Group showing just how heavily the majority of business is adversely affected by Brexit.

Trying to work out how to help, have gathered affected businesses, other commerce groups. Raised concerns with Dept of Business
Reports from Black Country businesses of EU partners ending business relationships because of Brexit.
Lack of certainty makes planning impossible.
Loss of EU skilled workers is huge concern, some already going.
Lack of UK skilled workers to replace them

Overall impression of small & medium sized Black Country businesses feeling abandoned by UK Government. No guidance.
They are heavily dependent on EU trade, already losing trade & workers.
Also concerned about lack of clarity on business support funding
Next up, a speaker who promotes region to foreign investment.
Has been very successful in past decade but the loss of our position as doorway to Europe & uncertainty since the Brexit vote did have an immediate effect on foreign investment

There.was a rise in capital investment from China & US due to low value sterling meaning more for their money,

but also a large negative impact on investment in many sectors, e.g. 30% drop in Automotive industry investment.

Greatest problem is uncertainty about trade and labour supply.

Our British capacity for innovation may let us manage the challenges of Brexit but the uncertainty and possibility of trade friction & skills is a huge problem to overcome.

Next speaker is from Department of Brexit at BCU.

West Midlands residents have the lowest disposable income per head in the UK. We're 10% poorer than the next poorest area, but our productivity is vital to UK success. This supports the need for devolution
Global trade is actually experiencing an increased costs from travel due an increased desire for immediacy, so trading further afield makes no sense.

Effect of Chinese exports on UK is the same size as Newcastle. Australia & Canada are like Leicester.

Next up, the West Midlands and Advanced Manufacturing Competitiveness Challenges.

Earlier session was depressing enough but I've got a bad feeling about this...

Production cost increases from Brexit 0.5 - 1.3% regional averages, but
automotive & fishing sectors are facing a 4% increase in production costs, agriculture also high.
That's a massive impact on competiveness challenge

The European regions & cities we are in competition with have competitiveness strategies in place. Do we?

This website visualises the data on EU trade to enable regional economic strategy development.


Very fast speaker about post-Brexit opportunities for "Industrial Revolution 4"
Vital to maintain access to SM, invest in training, develop much better strategies
All good ideas but can't help thinking we'd be able to implement all of it better if we Remain.
KPMG Automotive speaker: Auto Industry is 4% of GDP.

Post-Brexit investment drop is very worrying.
£2.6B 2015 to £1.1B 2017

Majorities of 1.7M have German car parts
44% of vehicles fitted with German parts are exported.

Brexit is 1 of 3 trade disruptors:
The others are changes in fuel & autonomous vehicles.

Innovation to meet these new markets requires a 4-7 year plan.
Brexit uncertainty is affecting auto industry investment already.
UK likely to miss out on next gen.
Simple customs issues with Brexit:
Will create 180,000 new importers / exporters.
£4B/ yr admin costs.

Paying VAT at point of export will create £billions of cashflow problems as it's likely months before it's returned.

Utterly depressed by the speaker from KMPG Automotive saying although he voted Remain he'd vote for Brexit in a second referendum as he feels we should "respect the democratic process".

Since it's plain Brexit is bad & the EURef was flawed, why? Madness.

Last up, a speaker from Warwick Uni trying to find a way for regions to deal with the Brexit drop in inward investment.
The best way to do so is with skilled workers.
We have a lack of them.
Immigration will have to increase.
It's a whole other cliff edge
An obviously frustrated @nigel_driffield provided the key quotes of the day.
Businesses/Recruitment agencies are saying "it turns out our European workers are not happy that we voted to Leave"
"That is where we are with the current insanity of the situation"
I asked a question about why UK business isn't stepping up more to #StopBrexit since it's so plainly Very Bad Idea.

Apparently there's increasingly vocal objection from businesses, so this may become a force in time, but we're running out of time.

"Increasingly obvious we're not living in a rational world"


There wasn't good enough evidence when we voted but there is now.


Plain from today's speakers that the only way for West Midlands to survive Brexit is devolution.

To me this means the end result of Brexit will be the division of the United Kingdom into smaller regions that will be competing for the smaller opportunities.

I love the idea of us having more control over our priorities and investment, but it feels like Brexit is dividing us against ourselves.

Businesses (especially SMEs) seem to be struggling with complacency / inertia regarding strategies to adapt to Brexit, especially regarding exports and EU Citizen rights.

It's difficult to make strategies when you don't know what you are dealing with.

Need much greater integration of UK businesses with chambers of commerce etc to enable support & good practice during transition.
Good question about loss of EU funding for economic, community & research development.
Lots of discussion but no plans yet.
Unlikely to ever compensate for what we got from EU though.

Last question about rhe impact on non-automotive industry in West Midlands, with focus on construction. Call for better support for local firms.
Construction industry is less impacted than most

Although that assessment doesn't tally completely with this one:
Had a big chat with LB afterwards about Birmingham CC approach to Brexit.

Seems like the 2016 local elections meant that no-one in office wanted to run the risk of influencing voters so they all kept neutral on Brexit Ref despite importance of EU to city
Although annoyed by the cowardice on display by politicians that are supposed to act in our best interests, I did come away heartened by a sense that BhamCC are not in favour of Brexit and may actually stand up to minimise it (now local elections are behind them).
Floated my idea about using Brum as a test case for a #PeoplesVote, given how close the result was here (<4000 votes in it).
Give Brummies proper info about #BrexitRegionalimpact on West Midlands & UK, then get them to vote again.
He didn't laugh in my face.

#SaveBrum #FinalSay
Now this is interesting.
The "How does being in the EU benefit Birmingham" report I heard about at the @CityREDI #BrexitregionalImpact meeting I wrote this thread about has resurfaced.
But they won't let us see it @EUinBrum…
#SaveBrum #StopBrexitSaveBritain
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