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Government must listen to Kent businesses during Brexit negotiations

11 July 2017

A new report examining the impact of Brexit on the county’s businesses and rural economy is urging the government to engage more robustly with Kent and Medway-based companies to better support the management of Brexit’s regional impacts and opportunities.

Kent and Medway: Making a Success of Brexit- SMEs and the Rural Economy is the third Brexit report produced by Canterbury Christ Church University’s Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS), providing an update on the fast-moving political and economic developments at both European and national level.

Professor Amelia Hadfield, Director of the Centre for European Studies, and Dr Mark Hammond, Visiting Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University, have since January 2017 been analysing how micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and rural economy stakeholders can realistically seize opportunities, mitigate risks, and identify sector-specific needs arising from Brexit.

The report provides a variety of detailed recommendations for national and local government, and the business community as a whole, aimed at directly benefiting the SME and rural economy sectors across Kent and Medway. One recommendation suggests extending the period of transition from pre to post Brexit to better enable businesses to adjust regarding their trade, regulations, labour and investment. The report also recommends far more robust government-to-business Brexit consultations at the regional,as well as national level.

Professor Amelia Hadfield, Director for the Centre for European Studies, said: “Our cutting-edge report not only highlights the impacts and opportunities presented by Brexit for local business, but is especially valuable in offering specific advice to national and local government, and the business community on issues including trade, regulation, investment and labour, as they pertain specifically to Kent and Medway.”

“Following the successful launch of our first report and our ongoing engagement with a wide range of county stakeholders, it became clear that SMEs and the rural economy, which play a strategic role in the local economy, will be deeply affected by Brexit in a variety of ways.”

“Despite the fast-paced political and economic events over the past 6 months, we at CEFEUS feel we have a duty of care to report on the current trends and potential outcomes of these challenging times. The expectation is that decision-makers will make good use of this timely report.”

Drawing on national and regional data, as well as county specific input in partnership with Cripps, HSBC, Kent Invicta, Touchstone Surveys and Rural Plc, the report provides a unique overview of the current needs of the county, intended to influence the overall decision-making entailed in Britain’s disengagement with the European Union.

Kent and Medway: Making a Success of Brexit: SMEs and the Rural Economy will be launched at Portcullis House, in Westminster on Thursday 13 July 2017, hosted by Helen Whately, M.P. for Faversham and Mid-Kent.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With 17,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 96% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2014/15 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Last edited: 04/12/2017 19:57:00