Department of Economics


Leading mind on Brexit highlights economic risks and impact

L. Alan Winters, Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory, spoke at two high-profile events this week on the subject of Brexit.

At the London Business School's ‘What next for #Brexit event on 20 June 2017 he said that Brexit has become a wider and riskier issue since the 2017 general election. 

“There’s more space up at the optimistic end if you’re a Europeanist, but more weight down at the bottom end – and it could all collapse in a heap because it’s so complicated and the clock is ticking.” 

Looking ahead, he said: “One thing almost everybody is agreed on is we will not have a trade agreement signed 21 months from now.” 

The Leading Minds event was chaired by Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics at LBS. Professor Winters was part of a panel discussion alongside:

  • Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
  • Charles Grant, Director Centre for European Reform
  • Sir Martin Donnelly, former Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade

Earlier that day, Professor Winters also spoke about the future position of the automotive industry considering Brexit at the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) International Automotive Summit.

Professor Winters presented some of the likely implications of Brexit and progress of negotiations as part of a panel discussion on ‘The UK and Europe’ including:

  • Chris Giles, Economics Editor, Financial Times
  • Bronwen Maddox, Director, Institute for Government Frank Samolis, Co-chair of International Trade Practice, Squire Patton Bogg
  • Justin Webb, BBC (as moderator)

The SMMT Summit is designed to inspire debate on the key issues affecting the industry. In his keynote, the chief executive of SMMT warned of the dangers that Brexit poses to the automotive industry. Some of these issues were laid out in a UKTPO briefing paper (box 1, p5).

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By: Charlotte Humma
Last updated: Sunday, 25 June 2017