Following the UK’s departure from the European Union on 1st January 2021, the UK has been on a journey to redefine its place in the world. The historic Brexit decision has caused import and export disruptions, growing border tensions in Northern Ireland and Scotland, amongst other challenges. However, disruptions aside, where do we stand some seven months into Brexit and what opportunities should we be capitalising on? Here, with our panellists, we discussed the implications of Brexit and opportunities on the horizon – for the future of UK business, environment, policy on citizens’ rights and Britain’s influence in the world today.
This event was moderated by Bess Mayhew, Political Consultant, and with contributions from Sarah Williams, Head of Greener UK unit; Tahmid Chowdhury, Founder of Here for Good Law; and Joe Zammit-Lucia, Founder of Radix.
Sarah Williams joined Green Alliance in November 2019 as head of the Greener UK unit. The unit co-ordinates and drives forward the Greener UK coalition’s work, campaigning with partners across the environmental sector to sector to ensure our environmental protections and standards are maintained and enhanced through the Brexit process.
Sarah was previously Public Affairs Manager at the Aldersgate Group – responsible for advancing the Group’s policy priorities through engagement with politicians, civil servants and other stakeholders. Prior to this, she worked in Parliament as special adviser to Tim Yeo, former MP and Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee.
She holds a BA in Modern History from the University of Oxford.
Tahmid Chowdhury is the Co-Founder and Joint-CEO of Here for Good, a charity established in 2018 to support European citizens secure their immigration status post-Brexit. He sits across the Board and Executive Team and oversees the charity’s governance, partnerships and finances; in 2020, he was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his social entrepreneurship. Prior to Here for Good, Tahmid was a plaintiff, alongside Gina Miller and others, in the 2016-17 Supreme Court case that found Parliament alone had the power to trigger the Brexit process; and ultimately meant Parliament also had authority over the Brexit deal. Tahmid is an Account Director at M&C Saatchi World Services and sits on the boards of several other charities including The Access Project and TASO.
Dr Joe Zammit-Lucia has had extensive experience both in the business and the political worlds. He is a founder of RADIX – a not-for-profit public policy think tank based in London, and the RADIX Centre for Business, Politics & Society based in Amsterdam. Prior to that, he had an extensive executive career in multinational business before founding a management advisory firm that became the market leader in its field.
He is a regular commentator on business and political issues with his commentary having appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Economist, and on the BBC. His new book on the interrelationship between business and politics will be published by Bloomsbury in 2022.
Bess Mayhew is a political and communications strategist. She worked for the Liberal Democrats during the Coalition years, first in Nick Clegg’s office and then running the party’s digital campaigning operations. After the Brexit referendum, Bess co-founded and led More United, a cross-party movement designed to get MPs from different parties to work together more often, supporting those who did with crowdfunded donations at election time. She is now a consultant, advising private companies, charities and political organisations on their communications and campaigns strategies.