The iSPER Brexit Series
United Kingdom and European Union flags combined. Courtesy of Shutterstock

Since the British public voted to leave the European Union, there has been widespread conjecture as governments across Europe and beyond try to assess the political and social ramifications of the result. There is no question that Brexit has the potential to impact on all aspects of our day-to-day lives, from education to the economy, health and housing, trade and travel, and much more besides.

As such, policy makers face a number of challenges in light of the increased responsibility placed on them – as areas of legislation previously under EU competence will soon be decided nationally – at the same time as preserving our global position, links and security.

In a new project led by the Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER) at the University of Plymouth, leading academics across a range of fields will attempt to shed light on how the referendum result might affect their areas of expertise.

These papers have been shared with policy makers and influencers, but if you would like any more information about The iSPER Brexit Series, or are interested in speaking to any of the academics involved, please email

Speaking about the iSPER Brexit Series, the institute's director Professor Jingjing Xu said:

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

Read more about the work of iSPER, its themes and objectives

Below are the subject areas which currently form part of the iSPER Brexit Series. Within each panel are links to the academic papers, accompanied by thought pieces from – and interviews with – the academics involved

Paper one – 'The potential impact of Brexit on our national security at a strategic level'

Dr Harry Bennett 

This paper attempts to outline, at the strategic level, some of the emergent issues, potential threats and likely outcomes for national security from the outcome of the Brexit referendum. To some extent Brexit as an issue in national security has been overtaken by issues surrounding Russian policy and the advent of the Trump administration in the United States.

View the full paper and its recommendations

Read Dr Harry Bennett's opinion piece

Paper two – 'The potential impact of Brexit on our national security and defence'

Dr Harry Bennett and James Smith 

This paper should be read in conjunction with Paper One within the iSPER Brexit series, which outlines a set of unknown issues, continuities and possible outcomes (UK and EU) from the Brexit vote. A further backdrop to the production of this paper is provided by the publication of the report of the Chilcot inquiry on 6 July 2016, which examined the UK’s preparations for the war in Iraq in 2003, and the subsequent handling of operations.

Read the full paper

Read Dr Harry Bennett's opinion column

Paper three – 'The potential impact of Brexit on health: education, research and the wider NHS'

Margaret Fisher, Professor Bridie Kent, Annie Mitchell and Professor Janet Richardson

This paper outlines some of the co-existing issues which threaten the future of the NHS, and identifies some of the new challenges that Brexit brings to the situation. It has been developed as a collaborative activity between academics from several health professions in order to begin to reflect the breadth of the situation.

View the full paper and its recommendations

Read an opinion column by the four academics

Paper five – 'The potential impact of Brexit on the UK's International Development policies'

Dr Patrick Holden

This paper’s purpose is to make policy recommendations on the relationship between the UK, developing countries and the European Union after Brexit. The European Union is the major global aid and trade partner of developing countries and all parties have a responsibility to ensure that poorer countries do not suffer from the UK’s exit.

View the full paper and its recommendations

Read Dr Patrick Holden's opinion piece

Paper six – 'Brexit and the integrated approach to stabilisation – Building Stability Overseas'

James Flint

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the significance of Brexit for the security/defence and international aid/development domains, and to make policy recommendations with regard to the future of UK international engagement.

View the full paper and its recommendations

Read James Flint's opinion piece

Paper seven - International tax competition and corporate taxation in the wake of Brexit

Dr Alexander Haupt

This paper explores some implications of Brexit for international tax competition and corporate taxation in the UK and the EU. To this end, it first briefly discusses the effects of tax competition on tax rates and revenues and outlines some EU tax initiatives. The paper concludes with some recommendations.

View the full paper and its recommendations

Read Dr Alexander Haupt's opinion piece

Paper eight - Enterprise education and practice in uncharted waters

Dr Andreas Walmsley, Dr Nikolaos Apostolopoulos, Dr Haya Al-Dajani and Dr Lise Hunter

This paper outlines the challenges for enterprise education in the UK post Brexit. It maintains that collaboration and knowledge exchange between European and British enterprise research, practice and education is crucial in order to create entrepreneurial mechanisms that foster global collaborations embracing our European neighbours in innovative ways.

View the full paper and its recommendations