Department of Economics


Generous donation funds trade experts beyond Brexit

A group of trade experts at the University of Sussex has received funding via a generous philanthropic gift from a former Sussex student.

The UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) will be given nearly £300,000 over the next three years, taking it up to and beyond Brexit, which, unless there is agreement to the contrary, must happen by March 2019.

The research, comment and analysis emerging from the UKTPO in the past 12 months has been timely, frequent and extremely impactful and has enabled the University to engage with a whole new range audiences. 

The group formed in 2016, significantly helped by a founding donation from the same supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Since then, UKTPO has engaged with politicians and officials at the highest level - including the Department for International Trade, the Department for International Development, the Department for Exiting the European Union and the Shadow Brexit team - has given evidence to Parliament and been mentioned in Prime Minister’s Questions.

The group also provides expert insight for industry bodies and is a clear and consistent voice in the media – including the Financial Times, Times, Telegraph, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Guardian and BBC - on Brexit trade issues. 

Professor L. Alan Winters, Director of UKTPO and Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex, said: “When we voted to leave the EU, as a country we were left staring at a blank white page, which will take a decade to fill in.

“The UK has barely needed to worry about trade policy for the past 40 years, as it was all taken care of in Brussels.

 “As the largest academic concentration of international trade experts in the UK, we have been working hard to help unpick and explain the hugely complex task facing our politicians and civil servants as we move into a new trading era.

“This generous donation is a massive vote of confidence and will help us continue our important work up to and beyond Brexit.”

‘With or without EU’ - priorities for the UK's four trading nations post Brexit from BMEc Sussex on Vimeo.

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By: James Hakner
Last updated: Friday, 7 July 2017