The event brought together over 100 business and manufacturing leaders, and Westminster policy experts to identify key concerns and opportunities presented by Brexit, offering practical advice on topics such as migration and skills.
The event was the fifth in the EEF Brexit roadshow series. It was set up in response to EEF members’ calls for greater clarity on the implications of Brexit on their day-to-day operations. EEF are playing a leading role in helping business prepare for this major challenge.
A keynote speech at the event was provided by Lord Liddle, Member of the House of Lords EU Committee. Lord Liddle has significant experience of Europe, having worked as a special adviser on European matters to former-Prime Minister Tony Blair, where he advised on economic reform and liaised with business and trade unions. Following this he became a Member of the Cabinet of the European Union Trade Commissioner, before becoming Principal Adviser to the President of the European Commission, advising on economic and social issues.
Hilary Douglas, head of corporate affairs, EEF, said: “As Brexit negotiations reach a pivotal point and the UK Government attempts to find consensus on a deal in the coming days, manufacturers remain desperate for clarity. The high interest for yesterday’s event, paired with our research into local manufacturers’ views on Brexit, underlines the importance of bringing industry together to offer practical advice. Getting Brexit right for manufacturers is critical for the sector and the UK economy.
“Delegates at our London conference heard from a range of EU experts, both from within Government and the wider policy and academic environment. We provided a clearer picture of the challenges around Brexit and insight into the tools urgently needed to develop detailed and robust contingency plans.”
Lord Liddle, keynote speaker, said: “Brexit continues to cause huge uncertainty for manufacturers, and it is absolutely vital that the government seeks to provide greater clarity as soon as possible. The EEF conference is an important means of ensuring that manufacturers’ concerns are clearly articulated to Government and policymakers.”