The Brexit referendum in 2016 threw up a lot of issues concerning life in the UK post exit from the EU. Issues surrounding this including immigration, business, education top most of the discussion points. A lot of these discussions are generalized from a country point of view. We organised a Panel Discussion to look at our local community – Loughborough and how Brexit may impact (positive or negative) on our every day lives.
If you say Loughborough is a student town, you won’t be far from the truth. With a University (Loughborough University) and two Colleges (Loughborough College and RNIB College, it is home to over 25,000 students at University and College levels. When you compare this to the 59,317 population (2012), one can truly see why Loughborough is sometimes called a student Town.
Panel Discussion Panelists
There were five people on the panel drawn from academia and politics. The panellists were:
Hon. Nicky Morgan MP
Nicky Morgan is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Loughborough since 2010 and was the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities from July 2014 to July 2016. She previously served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from October 2013 to April 2014 and as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from April to July 2014. Morgan supported the ‘Remain’ campaign in the 2016 referendum.
Professor Helen Drake[spacer height=”-20px”]
Helen Drake is a Professor of French and European Studies at Loughborough University. She is a Chair of the UK’s leading academic association for European Studies, UACES. She continues to explore relations between France and the European Union, and is writing about the French quest for a ‘political Europe’. She has taught modules such as Introduction to the European Union and (Im)migration, Migration and the UK today
Simon Downs is a lecturer at the School of Arts, English and Drama. He researches into the systems that form visual communication: technical and social, cultural and political. Simon won the Loughborough University Lecturer of the Year award in 2011, is a Director of the Drawing Research Network and is a trades union representative for the UCU union. He is founder and lead editor of The Poster (Bristol: Intellect) which examines the ways in which visual rhetorics are applied to form social and cultural ideas for political ends.
Dr. Akin Adetutu
Akin Adetutu is a Lecturer in Economics at the Nottingham Business School (NBS) at Nottingham Trent University. He completed his PhD in Economics at Loughborough University in 2015. Prior to joining the NBS, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Economics Department at University of Strathclyde researching pathways for investment in innovation across energy intensive sectors across the UK. He has been a consultant and lead researcher on numerous projects across policy and business sectors, including projects for the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Center for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA), MTN/Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), amongst others.
Dr Marion Arnold is an art historian, artist and writer. She lived in Zimbabwe, studied in South Africa, and taught at the University of South Africa (UNISA), and University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, before settling in the UK in 2000. She taught part-time at Birkbeck College, London University, the University of East Anglia, the Norwich School of Art and Design, and Loughborough University, where she now holds a full-time post and teaches Critical and Historical Studies. Current research focuses on Southern African art, colonialism, post-colonialism, women’s art practice, feminist theory, drawing, printmaking, and Southern African Diaspora experience.
BACKGROUND TO DISCUSSION
The UK voted to leave the EU on the 23rd of June 2016 in a historic election. It appears that the decision to leave the EU took the nation and indeed our leaders by surprise as we are now gradually working through the process of what BREXIT actually means and what kind of BREXIT we will have.
There are a myriad of issues resulting from the vote to leave the EU the most strongly felt being the impact on jobs and the economy. At the moment the impact of rising inflation is being felt in the Country and it is still poised to rise even further. There are also issues around immigration (what happens to EU citizens already in the UK including students and those planning on coming to the UK to study over the next 2 years), Security (in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, there were reported cases of violence in cities like London, Leicester, Manchester and Newcastle. EU and non-EU nationals being told to “go back to your country”; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-racism-uk-post-referendum-racism-hate-crime-eu-referendum-racism-unleashed-poland-racist-a7160786.html), the National Health Service (grinding to a halt, EU workers unsure of their stand, hospital trusts no longer restricted by the EU working Time Directive and the impact on staff productivity and safety) and Employment rights/laws (maternity/ paternity entitlements, annual leave, sick pay, etc.).
In addition, Loughborough is also home to over Loughborough is a University town and so relies significantly on students coming from all over the world including the EU. Therefore, in addition to the issues listed above, the impact of the BREXIT vote on student numbers and consequently funding and academic research funding will need to be explored thoroughly to ensure that the town of Loughborough is stronger on the back of BREXIT.
We invite you to join us as we explore these issues on the 8th of December 2016. Come with your questions, comments and suggestions and let’s interact and develop ideas in a creative space.
General Opening Questions by Moderator
- Each panellist should give a position statement
- Nicky Morgan – What is soft and hard BREXIT?