The Political Economy of Brexit I

Room: 
Room D, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Monday 26th March 09:30 - 11:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Craig Berry (University of Sheffield)
Panel Discussant: 
  • Professor Helen Thompson (University of Cambridge)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Scott James (King's College London)
  • Professor Lucia Quaglia (University of Bologna)
  • Dr Gabriel Siles-Brugge (University of Warwick)
  • Dr Scott Lavery (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Owen Parker (University of Sheffield)

This is the first of two panels on the political economy of Brexit convened by Scott James. It is organised around the claim that the UK economy is underpinned by a distinctive ‘national business model’. The UK’s national business model comprises of four core elements. 1) an open and lightly regulated international financial services centre concentrated within the City of London, 2) a flexible labour market regime consisting of limited employment protections, high levels of atypical employment and restrained levels of real wage growth, 3) openness to FDI flows, extensive capital markets and lending bias towards property over productive investment, and 4) the growth of low-skill, low-wage and low productivity service industries. The panel begins from the premise that the UK’s membership of, and mode of integration into, the EU has over the past three decades acted as a crucial political and institutional support to the UK’s national business model. The panels will examine the extent to which Brexit challenges, reinforces or offers the opportunity to transform this model. As such, the individual papers will address the two following questions: 1) How has the UK’s membership of the EU supported the UK’s national business model in the past? 2) To what extent might Brexit undermine or consolidate the UK’s national business model. Together, the two panels will bring together papers from leading political economists to examine the political economy of Brexit, and have been convened as part of a forthcoming symposium on ‘The UK’s National Business Model and the Political Economy of Brexit’ to be published by New Political Economy. This panel focuses on the area of financial services and trade policy, and the second focuses on the labour market and investment policy.