EEF, The Manufacturers' Organisation, kicked off its Brexit roadshow with its inaugural conference, in Birmingham, titled 'Making Brexit Work – Preparing Manufacturers for Brexit'.
The event was the first in a series taking place across the country where national and regional government leaders, specialist advisers and policy experts deliver the latest insight and practical guidance on Brexit directly to British manufacturers. Topics discussed at the Birmingham conference included impact on imports and exports, trade, migration and skills.
Andy Street CBE, West Midlands Mayor, and Hywel Jarman, EEF’s Director of External Affairs, shake hands at EEF’s inaugural Brexit roadshow conference in Birmingham
This event was attended by around 100 figures from within the regional manufacturing industry, keen to hear about the specific provisions they need to make ahead of the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union. Keynote speakers and panellists at the Birmingham conference included Andy Street CBE, the Metro Mayor for the West Midlands; James Dowler, Deputy Director at the Department for Exiting the European Union; David Rodgers, Deputy Director, EU Exit Programme Directorate, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Dr. Ed Turner, Member of the Aston Centre for Europe and Mike Josypenko, Senior Director of Special Projects, Institute of Exports and International Trade.
The Brexit roadshow series has been launched following calls from EEF members for greater clarity on the implications of Brexit on their day-to-day operations, particularly in light of slow-moving parliamentary processes and a recent boost in industry-wide output and orders. The next stops on EEF's regional roadshow will be announced in the coming weeks.
Andy Street CBE, the Metro Mayor for the West Midlands, comments: "While we have worked hard to make sure the views and concerns of our region's businesses have been heard by Government, one of the key things we can do is make sure that when we leave the EU, our region's economy is as healthy as possible. The new Industrial Strategy launched by Government will focus our efforts on our sectors with the potential for growth and help us to enter the post-Brexit world with confidence."
Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs at EEF, comments: "Whilst Brexit has dominated the headlines over the past 18 months, what British manufacturers still need is clarity so that they can prepare for exit day. The superb response we've received to our roadshow series is testament to this demand. Getting Brexit right for manufacturers is not only critical for the sector, but also for the UK economy.
"Delegates at our Birmingham conference heard from a range of European Union experts, both from within Government and the wider policy and academic environment. We hope they left with a clearer picture of the challenges Brexit may present and the tools needed to develop detailed and robust contingency plans."