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Experts join Brexit research centre

05 July 2018

Five leading experts in business and politics have joined a research centre which aims to explore the impact Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will have on major issues such as trade, employment and migration.

Birmingham City University’s Centre for Brexit Studies has expanded its team of researchers after Professor David Bailey of Aston University, Dr Philip Tomlinson of Bath University, Dr Vangelis Tsiligris of Nottingham Trent, Dr Les Budd from the Open University and former leader of Birmingham City Council, Jon Clancy were named as Visiting Professors.

The specialists will use their expertise to help research Brexit’s impact issues including the Northern Ireland border, manufacturing, finance and policy.

Professor Alex de Ruyter (pictured), director of Birmingham City University’s Centre for Brexit Studies, said: “We are delighted that we will have these five top experts working alongside us as we look at the ongoing and complex issues that relate to Brexit.

“The Centre was started as a way of looking into the issues surrounding Brexit as well as documenting the process, and having input from people who are at the top of their field will really help us to meet that aim. 

“We also hope that these appointments will allow us to maintain a two-way dialogue with the public and be a resource that they are able to take advantage of.”

Research projects which the Visting Professors will lead include an examination of possible changes to the Northern Ireland border and its impact on immigration from the European Union, as well as on the historic troubles in the country.

It will also include dedicated research into how Brexit will impact the automotive and manufacturing sectors – key industries for the Midlands economy.

David Bailey, Professor of Industry at Aston University, said: “I’m thrilled to be able to help Alex and the team to explore the impact of Brexit on manufacturing and the automotive industry in particular.”

Dr Les Budd, Reader in Social Enterprise at the Open University, said: “My current interest is with regards to the Northern Ireland border and the impact that any changes could have on this, with regard to previous agreements and the rest of the UK’s involvement there.”

“I previously spoke at the Centre’s Annual Conference on just this topic and I’m pleased to continue to work with them in the capacity of a Visiting Professor.”

Dr Phil Tomlinson, deputy director of the Centre of Governance, Regulation and Industrial Strategy at the University of Bath, said: “Brexit is going to have an enormous impact upon UK regions, especially the UK’s peripheral regions which are highly dependent upon EU trade links and are also recipients of significant EU funding.

“UK industrial policy is going to have to step up to the mark to militate the adverse effects of Brexit, and in this regard, I am delighted to be working more closely with Alex and his team, on what is the salient issue of our time.”

Councillor John Clancy said: “I am looking forward to working with Alex and the rest of the team researching how Brexit will affect regional and city economies.”

The public can learn more at Centre for Brexit Studies at the University’s Open Day on Saturday.

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