“Brexit will significantly impact the UK economy. We must put in place the human resources and infrastructure required to minimise the damage as much as possible while exploring new opportunities," said Professor Christos Pitelis, Britain in Europe (BiE) member, outgoing Head of Brunel Business School, and incoming University Ambassador in Business Research and Engagement, to national television in Greece earlier this summer.
He added: “Ultimately national governments must ask themselves how the benefits of globalisation and open markets will be more fairly distributed to all citizens [to avoid phenomena like Brexit].”
Professor Pitelis emphasised the need to minimise the negative impact of Brexit while searching for, creating and leveraging new opportunities for the British economy. He stated that a lesson from Brexit was that the benefits from open markets and globalisation should be shared more evenly, and that required public-private-polity collaboration and smart policies that foster sustainable, fair and inclusive growth.
Professor Pitelis was reflecting on the conclusions of a July conference organised by the Centre for International Business and Management (CIBAM), where he is director, at Queens' College, Cambridge.
The conference, Business and Brexit, and the Business of Brexit brought together business experts, economists, third sector experts and academic scholars from a range of disciplines.
Vicky Pryce, economist and former Joint Head of the United Kingdom's Government Economic Service, also told ANT1 TV’s Isaac Karipidis: “The UK economy is slowing down, quite significantly, because of all the uncertainty. Nobody really knows where it will be by the time the UK leaves, and what sort of plan the Government has.”
Business experts participating at the conference expressed concern about the impact of 'hard Brexit', tariffs and the prospect of 'no deal' at the end of the negotiating period. 'No deal is a very bad deal', the conference concluded.
Brunel Law School's Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Associate Dean and director of Britain in Europe, was an invited speaker at the conference. His paper addressed the question of academic, research-based, engagement with 'the business of Brexit'.
He took BiE's work on EU citizens' rights after Brexit as an illustration of how collaborations of academic scholars, legal experts and the third sector can influence important debates around the protection of individual rights threatened by Brexit.
Professor Geoff Rodgers, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Brunel, offered the concluding observations at the conference, and later commented on Greek TV: “Brexit will be a challenge for UK universities. We will want to continue to attract high quality students from across Europe to come study in the UK.”
Yet despite the challenges, “there are inherent strengths in UK universities which can make us optimistic about the future,” he said.
Professor Rodgers' keynote address on Brexit and academia can be viewed below:
Sarah Cox, Media Relations