Cambridge is an extraordinary city, home to forward-looking institutions, businesses, and people. Its diverse local community is a place of encounter for ideas, projects, and individuals from across the globe. The ‘Cambridge phenomenon’ is admired and emulated by industry leaders and policy makers from the UK and beyond. The rates of economic and population growth are testament to the success of the whole Greater Cambridge area.
The Cambridge Brexit Report is a collaboration between Cambridge for Europe, the Cambridge University European Society, The Wilberforce Society, Polygeia, and Cambridge Stays. It was commissioned by Daniel Zeichner MP, and is the second part of a project that began with a Conference on 24 February, entitled Cambridge and Brexit: Discussing our Future. This Conference brought together more than 100 Cambridge community members across the political spectrum in a series of presentations and discussions about the implications of Brexit on various sectors. Both the Conference and the Report seek to understand how we can work together in mapping the way forward for Britain after Brexit, and integrate both local and national perspectives.
The Cambridge Brexit Report consists of twelve chapters, covering the Economy, Trade and Business, the Pharmaceutical Industry, Creative Industries, Agriculture, Universities and Research, Freedom of Movement and Immigration, the Constitution, Devolution and the Regions, Human Rights, the Environment, and the NHS. Each has its own approach, structure, and conclusions.
The Wilberforce Society contributed five papers to the report: the Economy (Editor: Georgi Rusinov), Agriculture (Editor: Alexis Wagner), Universities and Research (Olivia Elder), Devolution and the Regions (Co-Editors: Alex Conway and Fred Kratt), Human Rights (Editor: Yen Jean Wee). Jun Pang (Co-Vice Chair, 2017-2018) was a co-organizer of the project; she also served as one of the Chief Editors of the Report.
These two recommendations cut across all chapters, and are worth reinstating here:
- The vote to leave the European Union has created uncertainty as to the United Kingdom’s future; all should be done to dispel such uncertainty as soon as possible, for it proves damaging to business, investment plans, research projects, life decisions, etc.
- Brexit will be a momentous transition for the United Kingdom, opening up a range of opportunities in a number of fields. This Report puts forward the concerns, hopes, and recommendations of the Greater Cambridge community; other communities across the country should be offered a similar opportunity to have their say. What was achieved by a team of volunteers in Cambridge could easily be achieved by local and central government on a larger scale; we therefore recommend that the Government launch public consultations in cities and towns all over the UK, and rely on the resulting reports to inform its Brexit negotiations and policies.
We would like to thank the following members of TWS for their involvement in the project:
Economy: Georgi Rusinov (Editor), Nora Kalinskij, Lucia Keijer-Palau, Simon Percelay
Agriculture: Alexis Wagner (Editor), Rebecca Davies
Universities & Research: Olivia Elder (Editor), Rowena Bermingham, Friedrich Götz, Roemer Sijmons, Ariel Yardeni
Devolution and the Regions: Alex Conway (Co-Editor), Fred Kratt (Co-Editor), Noah Froud, Zoe Alipranti, Sophie McVea
Human Rights: Yen Jean Wee (Editor), Glen Tay, Frank Wilson, Theophilus Kwek, Thomas Bennett
We were given the opportunity to launch this Report in the EU Parliament at the kind invitation of Alex Mayer MEP and Daniel Zeichner MP.