After the referendum, where to next? Planning for change

Saturday 5 November, 14.30 - 15.30 , Liverpool Central Library UK satellite events


While Project Fear has been accused of exaggerating the long-term economic impacts of breaking with the EU, early indications - from the fall in sterling to the potential loss of EU investment in Britain’s universities and research institutes - suggest that the short-term impact may be painful. But with economic output already weak, borrowing high and productivity and wages on the slide, the British economy has been in trouble for decades. After years spent ‘kicking the can down the road’, could Brexit be forcing the question of industrial development back onto the agenda? Theresa May’s appointment of a secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy suggests the possibility of the government developing ideas for economic growth. Could the vote for Brexit be a wake-up call for politicians, who spend too much time tinkering around with short-term fixes rather than taking a longer, more strategic approach to turning the economy round?

Here in the North, much has been made about creating a ‘northern powerhouse’, yet many remain sceptical about the potential for real, sustained economic growth. Behind the rhetoric of building a new industrial revolution, the powerhouse economy has delivered very little beyond the beginnings of a property boom, limited cultural regeneration, and a boost to Manchester’s financial services and ‘creative industries’ sectors. Meanwhile, many new industries with the potential to revolutionise the UK economy – like fracking, nuclear power and biotech – continue to face considerable resistance. As the powerhouse seems to be running out of steam, can the North develop a ‘modern, active industrial policy’ that is capable of providing the jobs, houses and public services that we need?

Details of how to attend will be available soon.