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Post-Brexit "Future of Britain" Debate

08 Mar 2017

Post-Brext debate

IOD Hampshire & IoW Hosts Post-Brexit “Future of Britain” Debate

Business leaders and directors from across the county last night gathered for a panel discussion at Southampton Football Club to discuss the issues and implications for businesses post-Brexit, organised by the Institute of Directors Hampshire and Isle of Wight branch.

The five panel members included James Sproule, Chief Economist and Director of Policy for the IoD, Alastair Welch, Director of the Port of Southampton, Jonathan Golub, Associate Professor of Political Science and Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading, Peter Arnold, Director at Ernst & Young LLP and Grant Esterhuizen, Head of Commercial Group at local law firm Lester Aldridge LLP.

The event was extremely well attended and included heated discussion on the impact of Brexit for both the UK economy and the local area. Leading business voices discussed the issues, informed debate and evaluated the claims and counter-claims from the panel.

Geraint Davies, Chairman of the IOD branch for Hampshire and the IOW and Partner at Ernst & Young LLP comments: “There have been some extraordinary changes in the months post-Brexit, including a new Prime Minister, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, a major devaluation of sterling, and the real possibility of further populist wins in Europe during 2017, which could further re-define the future of the EU. Our members had the opportunity to voice their concerns about the future direction of travel of UK plc, whether trade or employment related. Whilst no definitive answers can be offered until Article 50 is triggered and the intense process of a negotiated exit begins, the debate was able to inform members about key considerations and influences for their own businesses”.

He continues: “I’d like to thank all of our panel members for their time including James Sproule who gave an insightful presentation on the strategic issues that Britain faces with key predictions into future trends beyond 2017.”

Grant Esterhuizen, Head of the Commercial Group at Lester Aldridge LLP comments: “I am delighted to have been part of the IoD panel discussion regarding the likely effect of Brexit on business. Lester Aldridge has received enquiries from business clients relating to the impact that Brexit could have on their day to day business operations. In some cases clients express a frustration with the current lack of certainty around Brexit change. It could be many years before we have a clear idea of what EU-origin legislation (whether in the commercial law sphere or otherwise) will be retained, modified, or withdrawn.

“Areas such as commercial law, competition, data protection, employment law, financial services and intellectual property rights are significantly affected by EU law and could experience change, however, this change is likely to be incremental. It is therefore important that business leaders remain abreast of developments in the law and so that they are able to react to those changes.”

The next IoD Hampshire & IoW event “Women in Business” will take place on 22nd March 12:00-14:00 at Hook.

 For more information please call 01420 538106 or email

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