The University of Plymouth has launched an initiative which sees leading academics endeavouring to provide policy makers and the public with an informed insight into the Brexit debate.
Less than two months ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May’s intended triggering of Article 50 comes a new project from the University’s Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER).
It harnesses the knowledge of leading academics to shed light on how the result of the referendum in June 2016 – and the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union – might impact on their areas of expertise.
In a series of policy papers and thought pieces, they will attempt to engage directly with policy makers and influencers while also seeking to encourage wider debate on the myriad of issues involved.
Professor Jingjing Xu, Director of iSPER, said:
“One of the goals of iSPER is to ensure that the University’s extensive academic expertise in the areas of social, policy and enterprise research has a real impact on decision-making. Understanding the potential implications of Brexit, and drawing conclusions as to how existing policy and practice may need to be adapted in light of these new circumstances, will be a critical public policy challenge for the next few years.”
The iSPER Brexit Series currently includes six papers written by academics from the University’s Faculty of Business, Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Faculty of Health and Human Sciences. More will follow in the future, but the initial subject areas are:
- The potential impact of Brexit on our national security at a strategic level, by Dr Harry Bennett;
- The potential impact of Brexit on our national security and defence, by Dr Harry Bennett and James Smith;
- The potential impact of Brexit on health: education, research and the wider NHS, by Margaret Fisher, Professor Bridie Kent, Annie Mitchell and Professor Janet Richardson;
- The potential impact of Brexit on employment rights and fairness at work, by Margaret Prior and Professor Richard Saundry;
- The potential impact of Brexit on the UK’s International Development policies, by Dr Patrick Holden; and
- Brexit and the integrated approach to stabilisation – Building Stability Overseas, by James Flint.
Dr Bennett, Associate Professor (Reader) in History from the School of Humanities and Performing Arts, who first developed the idea for the series, said:
“The vote for Brexit in 2016 has created profound challenges and opportunities for the United Kingdom. In meeting those challenges, British universities must act as powerhouses of critical thinking to provide the best possible understanding of the available options, and the realities of following different courses of action. On the form and fine print of Brexit hinges the future prosperity of the country, and the eventual details of day-to-day life for everyone in the United Kingdom.”