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UK in a Changing Europe

UK in a Changing Europe: The implications of Brexit for economic development and devolved governance in the North of England.

Newcastle Business School, in partnership with Heriot-Watt University and the University of Cumbria, is organising a series of workshop events aimed at facilitating and fostering knowledge exchange and engagement on the implications of Brexit for the North East of England (NE) and Cumbria. Funded by the UK in a Changing Europe Initiative and supported by Economic and Social Research Fund (ESRC), the events will bring together experts with complementary interests in economics; regional economic development; public management; industry and innovation, employment policy; and labour market geography. The coverage will be wide ranging and involve three main themes:

  • The implications for economic development in the NE and Cumbria, particularly focussing on rural development and sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy and tourism;
  • The implications for the NE and Cumbria’s relationship with Scotland, particularly if Brexit leads eventually to a ‘hard’ Anglo-Scottish border separating two countries with differing EU status;
  • The implications for the future of devolution deals and the Northern Powerhouse

Upcoming Events

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The Implications of Brexit for the Future of Devolution in the North East of England and for the Northern Powerhouse

Thursday 6 July 2017 | 09:00 - 16:00
Newcastle Business School, City Campus East, 
Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne  NE1 8SE


It is widely recognised that the implications of the decision taken on 23rd June 2016 by the UK to leave the European Union will be profound. Whilst discussions of the consequences for the UK as a whole have been extensive, there has been, as yet, little debate on the implications at a regional and local level especially in Northern England. The likelihood of a second Scottish independence referendum - in late 2018 or early 2019 - also confirms the significance of these developments and their ongoing ramifications for cross-border relationships.

Within this context, the Universities of Northumbria, Heriot-Watt and Cumbria are hosting a series of one-day seminars in 2017 to look at the implications of Brexit for the regions that adjoin the Anglo-Scottish Border. The third and final event of the series, organised by Newcastle Business School, brings together a range of experts from academia, industry, trade unions, local and central government, and the voluntary and community sector in the North East to debate:

  • The potential implications of Brexit for economic development in the North East of England
  • The impact of Brexit on options for regional devolution and the future of the Northern Powerhouse
  • The challenges of, and opportunities for, cross-border collaboration with Scotland  


Speakers and Panel Members include:

  • Richard Baker (North East Local Enterprise Partnership)
  • Jonathan Blackie (Former Director - Government Office for the North East)
  • Cllr David Falkner (Newcastle City Council)
  • Beth Farhat (Director - Northern TUC)
  • Antonella Forganni (The EU-Asia Institute, ESSCA Ecole de Management)
  • Sarah Green (Former Regional Director - CBI)
  • Janice Rose (Northumberland County Council)
  • Anna Round (IPPR North)
  • Ross Smith (North East England Chamber of Commerce)
  • Tom Smyth (Department for Business, Energy & Innovation  Strategy)
  • Rob Williamson (Tyne and Wear Community Foundation)
  • Keith Wilson (Tees Valley Combined Authority)

Why attend?

The issues surrounding Brexit are without precedent. The process is hugely complex and outcomes are uncertain in a fast-changing policy environment. Consequently, there is considerable need for extensive debate to gather opinion and different perspectives from public, private, voluntary and community sectors. The purpose of attending might be: 

  • To increase understanding of the consequences of Brexit for the North East of England
  • To listen to, and challenge, expert opinion from a range of academics, industrialists and policymakers
  • To expose thinking to others who may have different ideas on how to interpret and manage the regional effects of Brexit.
  • To improve understanding of the possible effects of Brexit on different sectors of the economy.
  • To participate in an open debate about issues of regional devolution that is likely to have a profound effect on the North of England and Scotland in future.


Who should attend?

The UK in a Changing Europe Initiative aims to encourage debate that is easily accessible to a wide range of organisations, actors and members of the public who are interested in the UK’s relationship with the EU. We would therefore welcome participation from: 

  • Academics and Researchers
  • Managers of large and small businesses
  • Leaders of business support agencies
  • Executives of development agencies
  • Local Government Officers and Elected Members
  • Journalists and representatives of the media
  • Leaders of non-governmental organisations
  • Heads of educational institutions
  • Representatives from community and voluntary groups


Event Organisers:

Professor Ignazio Cabras and Professor Keith Shaw, Northumbria University

The event is FREE to attend. Refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided.

For further information about this event, or to book a place, please contact:

Gosia Slusarczyk (Newcastle Business School)

 * Funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) “UK in a Changing Europe Initiative” (


Professor Ignazio Cabras (Principal Organiser)Ignazio

Ignazio is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. Ignazio’s research experience embraces various and manifold aspects within the economic field. He has published extensively in the fields of regional economic development, employment and employability, public procurement, social and community cohesion, and innovation. Published works include also an analysis of procurement practices in the public sector at regional and local level in England, an empirical study of the supply chain effects associated with the nuclear industry in Cumbria, and an economic evaluation of local environmental quality values (LEQ) with regard to commercial property values in the North East of England. His most recent research focussed on the impact of third places with regard to communities’ quality of life and wellbeing in rural areas of England. 


Professor Keith ShawKShaw

Keith is Professor of Politics at Northumbria University. Since 2014, he has been heavily involved in undertaking funded research on Devolution within the UK. This includes being the lead author of two major reports, ‘Borderlands: can the North East and Cumbria benefit from greater Scottish autonomy?’; and ‘Developing the Framework for a Borderlands Strategy’. He was the Principal Investigator on the ESRC Seminar Series, ‘Close Friends? Assessing the impact of greater Scottish autonomy on the North of England and Scotland’. In 2016 he has been awarded a grant by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to investigate ‘Who runs the North East’ and is part of the ESRC award to examine policy-makers' understanding of the implications of Brexit for economic development and devolved governance on the North of England and Scotland.  He has published recently on the Anglo-Scottish border in academic journals such as Scottish Affairs, The Journal of Borderlands Studies and Local Economy.  


Professor Mike DansonMDanson


Mike is Professor of Enterprise Policy at Heriot Watt University.  Mike has been conducting action and policy research since 1976, evaluating regional economic and community development for local and central governments, national and international organisations including the UK and Scottish Governments and Parliaments, European Commission, OECD, RDAs and others. Recently, he has advised Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise on the development of European structural fund programmes, written on macro-regions and the peripheral and marginal regions of northern Europe, and investigated enterprise in remote, rural and urban contexts. He has contributed to international teams commissioned to analyse regional development programmes across Europe, Vietnam, and RDAs across the world. This year he has published on community resilience, in-work poverty and self-employment, regional innovation, and rural entrepreneurship. 


Professor Frank PeckPek

Frank is Professor of Regional Economic Development at the University of Cumbria. His publications are in the field of inward investment, local economic policy, cluster strategies, smart specialisation, public procurement and the effects of borders on economic development. Frank has over 30 years’ experience of conducting research on regional development across the North of England. Within Cumbria, he has recently conducted economic research for Cumbria LEP, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council and the local authorities on the Anglo-Scottish Border. He is a Board Member of the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and an active participant in the international research community focussed on regional studies. He has led several research projects on the impacts of regulation on small businesses on behalf of UK Government and has conducted research for the European Union as a member of the EU Expert Group reporting on "Research Intensive Clusters and Smart Specialisation." 


Dr Gail Mulvey (Research Assistant)Cimg

Gail is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Regional Economic Development at the University of Cumbria.  She conducts contract research on behalf of local and national government, development agencies and NGOs on the topics of regional economic development, sector profiles, skills needs and project evaluations.  In addition, she is the Editor of Regions, the quarterly members’ magazine of the Regional Studies Association. Previous employment was as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer of Economics at various universities in England. Her academic research has been on topics of labour and industrial economics and she has just published an article entitled ‘Cross-border collaboration in economic development: Institutional change on the Anglo-Scottish Border’ in the Journal of Borderland Studies.

Past Events



Friday 10th March 2017, 9.30am – 4.00 pm

University of Cumbria Learning Gateway Fusehill Street Campus, Carlisle
It is widely recognised that the implications of the decision taken on 23rd June 2016 by the UK to leave the European Union will be profound. Whilst discussion of the consequences for the UK as a whole have been extensive, there has been little debate on the implications at a regional and local more




Enhancing policymakers' understanding of the implications of Brexit for economic development and government in the North of England and the South of Scotland

Thursday 18th May 2017

School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

With the strong vote for “Remain” in Scotland contrasting with the “Leave” vote in the “far north” of England, there is a need to understand the implications for both sides of the border of these quite different attitudes to the European Union. Scotland is pursuing a strategy of trying to retain open links with the rest of the Single Market to protect farming, fishing and financial sectors with a quite different approach…[read more].


The Final Report of the Seminar Series is now available for download, please click here

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