What will be the impact of Brexit on Birmingham and the West Midlands?

The City Council has started to assess the impact of Brexit and develop its response. At the Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting on 26 February there were two presentations – one on BCC’s Brexit Response, the second on an Economic Impact Assessment in the Automotive Sector in WM.

They raise many key issues which are likely to affect everyone in Birmingham and the West Midlands, including jobs and Council services. The reports end with a set of Recommendations aimed at limiting any damaging impacts.

What we urgently need now are responses from the trade unions, the Trade Councils in the WM, the Midlands TUC, and all the concerned local community and campaigning organisations, which we will publish on BATC.

There will be an opportunity to discuss these issues at a Birmingham TUC meeting in the near future when Professor David Bailey will be speaking.

Below are some key extracts from the presentation. (You can read the full presentations on the Council website and watch them on the webcast of the Council meeting.)

BCC Brexit Response

 BCC Risk Register: Initial impact & risk assessment for Birmingham


Impact on citizens

– EU Settlement scheme

– Repatriation of UK citizens

– Citizens with no recourse to public funds

– Product & food safety

– Public health

– Product fraud

Businesses readiness

– Trading standards

– Imports & exports regulations

– New trade & regulatory regimes

– Introduction of WTO tariffs

– Cost of goods, materials, labour

– Supply of goods, material, labour


Potential increased demand of BCC services

– Loss of EU funding for key services (e.g. employment, careers, youth services)

– Adult & social care

– NRPF/vulnerable adults

– Housing/ homelessness

– ICT, digital and customer services (e.g. call centre)

– Registration of vulnerable and looked after EU citizens

– Registration of the at-risk employees from the EU

Financial & operational impact on BCC

– EU funding

– Clarity on replacement funding

– Access to transnational funding (R&I, ETC)

– Workforce

– Procurement & contract management

– Data sharing & GDPR

– Delivery of major projects (e.g.CWG, HS2)


Wider economic impact

– Unemployment

– Decrease in BCC’s revenue to economic shock

– Increase in homelessness

– Increase in the level of health and wellbeing issues

– Potential level of exposure to NoDeal Brexit in WM (12,2% and 11.3%)

Supply chain mapping and Brexit exposure survey: Main findings & policy recommendations

Professor Alex de Ruyter Director, Centre for Brexit Studies, Birmingham City University and Professor David Bailey Senior Fellow, UK in a Changing Europe and Birmingham Business School

In 2017, the automotive sector was directly worth £15.2bn to the UK economy and represented over 8% of total manufacturing

  • Sector directly employs 50,000 in West Midlands

Aerospace sector accounted for 4.3% of the UK’s goods exports in 2018

  • Derby and Rolls-Royce: 16,000 manufacturing jobs are clustered (out of 26,400 in the Midlands)


 ▪ Boost regional investment support schemes –e.g., a wider Regional Growth Fund (RGF)

▪ Vehicle scrappage schemes to boost demand

▪ Short-time working support

▪ Refunding tariffs levied on UK exports to (for example) the EU

▪ Writing-off of government loans, preferential loans, commitment to covering operating losses.

▪ Bailouts to prevent financial collapse

▪ Taking equity stakes in manufacturers

▪ Potential business tax/rates holidays

▪ Training funding to help companies retrain and reskill workers

▪ Supply-chain diversification

▪ Invest in expanding the on-road/car park EV charging Infrastructure

▪ Establish industry support task forces

▪ Look to win the setting up of a battery gigafactory

▪ Establish Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

▪ Remain under the aegis of the European Aviation Safety Agency.


This is the link to the Council meeting. Scroll down to p21 for the presentations.



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