The Business of Brexit
These are the outputs that students on the 2017 Challenge produced.
Business Strategies: Student Farm Co-op
Students in this group decided to investigate the effect that Brexit may have on the farming industry. They felt that there was a need for better strategic links between farming and students, as young people will influence business, policy and the future of the UK. They set up a Student Farm Cooperative, a vehicle to connect farming with students. They produced a website with a blog, and a leaflet explaining the different types of Brexit that farmers could face. They also made t-shirts and some merchandise – a ‘Brexit cow’ and some key chains - as examples of the type of ideas that could be used to network students with their local farming businesses and produce.
Business Strategies: The Brexeters
Students in this group looked into strategies that FTSE100 companies could take in response to Brexit. They saw that firms with different international exposures appear to approach Brexit differently, with preferences for the outcomes of Brexit based on their differing business models. The students developed a Brexit strategy spectrum, a flexible sliding scale featuring different Brexit possibilities (shown on their poster). They looked at case studies of various companies, and positioned them on the spectrum based on the type of Brexit they would find most beneficial. The strategy for each company will depend on the gap between the company's position on the spectrum and where the final Brexit deal falls.
Brexit and Trade: Group 1
Students in this group looked at how Brexit would influence businesses, and how businesses could respond to these changes to get the best from Brexit. They researched three areas in detail that they felt were the most important: the hiring of migrant workers, tariff and non-tariff barriers, and the exchange rate. They compiled their findings into a report and a poster, and included advice for businesses on possible routes of action.
Brexit and Trade: Group 2
Students in this group looked into different options for trade deals that the UK could adopt when they leave the EU. Countries such as Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Canada have agreements with varying degrees of integration with the EU, which can be seen as templates for the UK’s future agreement. The students researched case studies for each agreement in order to decide which model they thought would work best for the UK. They complied their findings into a report.
Brexit and Trade: Group 3
Students in this group researched how businesses should talk to the government about which version of Brexit (‘Hard Brexit’ or ‘Solf Brexit’) is best. The approach that businesses should take depends on whether it is in the primary, secondary or tertiary sector, whether it is a small or large business, and whether it is an import or export business. They looked at case studies in each sector, and compiled their findings into a report.
Brexit and Public Policy
Brexit and the City
Students in this focused on the effect Brexit would have on the City of London, the financial centre of Europe. They looked at the opportunities and threats of both a ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ Brexit. They felt that a ‘soft’ Brexit would leave the city of London largely unchanged, but that a ‘hard’ Brexit would have an effect. They identified five key areas where a ‘hard’ Brexit would affect the City: human capital, passporting rights, regulation, taxation and the commonwealth. They produced a short video, summarising the advantages and disadvantages of both a 'soft' and 'hard' Brexit.
Brexit and Higher Education
Students in this group looked at the effect that Brexit would have on the higher education sector. They focused on seven key areas: academia, student funding, admissions, student mobility, negotiating strategies, the graduate job market, and the human aspect of Brexit. They identified the challenges that Brexit would bring in each area, and came up with a solution for how this could be addressed. They produced a poster of their work.