Plymouth Brexit Summit 2018
Plymouth Brexit Summit 2018

Following the success of the 2017 Plymouth Brexit Summit, Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, will host the 2018 Plymouth Brexit Summit on Friday, 7 September at the University of Plymouth, Roland Levinsky Lecture Theatre from 9.30am – 3.30pm.

The theme of the 2018 Plymouth Brexit Summit is ‘How Prepared is Plymouth and the far South West for Brexit?’. With the possibility of the UK crashing out of the EU without a trade deal, Luke wants to prompt debate in the clarity about how we can best prepare for the possible scenarios around Brexit.

Where can I sign up?

Tickets are available for general admission and for delegates via Helm Tickets

The cross-party event will be opened by Labour and Co-operative MP, Luke Pollard, with Labour and Green Party South West and Gibraltar MEP’s Claire Moody and Molly Scott Cato giving their views from Europe. Labour Member of Parliament for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock, who sits on the influential Exiting the European Union Select Committee in the Commons will be giving a keynote speech with the view from Westminster and giving their views from the far South West will be Conservative Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, and Labour Member of Parliament for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw.

Devon Chamber of Commerce Director, Linda Middleton-Jones will be joining Richard Stevens of Plymouth Citybus and John Napton of Brittany Ferries to discuss how prepared Plymouth is from a jobs, trade and business perspective. The Chief Executive of the Real Ideas Organisation, Lindsey Hall, will be joining representatives from the University of Plymouth and local health care officials on the Community, Health and Young People question and answer panel. The National Farmers’ Union Devon County Advisor, Andrew Butler, will be joined by Jackie Young of Environment Plymouth and Luke Pollard MP in his new role as Shadow Coastal Communities Minister and Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Neil Parish MP on a panel discussing Environment, Fishing and Farming.

Co-founder of Our Future; Our Choice, Femi Oluwole will also be joining us to give his view, he will be joined by the former Social Media Manager of the pro-Leave Women for Britain group, Sarah-Jane Sewell to debate the future of Brexit.

Luke Pollard MP said:

During last year’s General Election I raised concerns about the lack of detail on Brexit. That’s why I pledged to hold a Plymouth Brexit Summit within my first 100 days as an MP and I’m proud to be hosting this follow up summit a year on from fulfilling that original pledge.

The 2018 summit could not come at a more important time, just over a month before the final deal where our future relationship between the UK and EU will be agreed. We know a good Brexit must secure jobs, protect existing rights and get a better deal for industries like fishing. But the time for the Government’s negotiations is almost up and I remain concerned Ministers have spent too much arguing amongst themselves and not enough time putting the country and Plymouth’s interests first.

There is still a distinct lack of deal on what leaving the EU looks like and the Government are yet to rule out the possibility of a catastrophic no-deal that would clog our ports, put new taxes on our imports and exports and damage jobs. No matter whether you voted leave or remain, I don’t believe anyone in Plymouth voted to be poorer. Brexit is the single most important political event in our lifetime and getting the detail right is essential if Plymouth is to be helped not harmed by Brexit.

I don’t trust the Government to put Plymouth’s interests first, just look at the state of our transport links and investment compared to London.
I have always said to do that we need a debate on the detail not soundbites. That’s why once again I am gathering together Plymouth’s and wider region’s businesses, trade bodies, trade unions, industries and the Universities to help guide my position and ensure we are as prepared as we can be for the uncertainty ahead.

Whether you voted leave or remain, we all want a good Brexit deal for Plymouth. Come along and tell our city what your company, organisation or group needs from Brexit. Places are still available and you still have time to register.

Stephen Kinnock MP said:

The people of Plymouth will be well aware that the government is in completely disarray over Brexit, and business leaders will know that the economy is suffering with Foreign Direct Investment falling off a cliff. Theresa May has spent two years negotiating with her own cabinet rather than the EU – only to emerge with a fudge of a plan that she will struggle to get past her own parliament, let alone Brussels.


For two years I have been calling for EAA-based Brexit – a solid, treaty-based model which would retain Britain’s access to the single market, but no longer under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and with scope to renegotiate free movement of labour. This is the only Brexit that respects and reflects the 52:48 referendum result, that can offer economic stability and can reunite our divided country.


 I thank Luke Pollard MP for inviting me to speak at this important summit – and look forward to discussing these serious issues with fellow attendees.


Luke Pollard MP’s 10 Brexit principles are: 

  • A Brexit deal must ensure that Plymouth stays an open and welcoming city, able to attract and retain world-class talent.
  • A good deal for jobs must protect Plymouth’s businesses, funding, and rights at work, while modernising and up-skilling Plymouth’s workforce.
  • A good deal for education will protect higher education funding and participation in Horizon 2020 and allow Plymouth students to continue to study abroad in the EU as part of Erasmus+.
  • A good deal for marine must deliver a fairer deal for Plymouth’s fisheries, especially the under ten fleet, maintain the funding of Plymouth’s world-class marine science institutions and the ability to collaborate with EU universities to draw down on lucrative EU funding programmes.
  • A good Brexit deal must protect Plymouth’s local environment by retaining European environmental protections, establishing a new environmental regulator and ensure the UK’s ongoing participation in European efforts to tackle climate change.
  • A good Brexit deal for food and farming must maintain high regulatory standards and ensure frictionless and tariff-free access for the South West’s agricultural goods to EU markets.
  • A good Brexit deal for investment and funding will ensure that the UK Government matches every penny of EU funding the far south west stands to lose as result of leaving the EU.
  • A good deal for Plymouth’s manufacturers, exporters and importers will have no new tariff barriers and will include a sufficient transition period so that there is no cliff edge that will hurt local businesses.
  • A good defence and security deal will ensure Plymouth is no less safe than we were in the EU, and will properly review and fund the UK’s defences and continued access to the successful EU arrest warrant, Europol and security co-operation systems.
  • A good Brexit deal for Plymouth will be resilient and prevent a cliff edge no-deal scenario. Plymouth’s port at Millbay must be kept open and planes must be able to fly in and out of the United Kingdom without new hinderances.

What’s the agenda?

You can download a printable PDF version of the agenda by clicking this link here

The summit will feature set piece speeches on the view from Europe, Westminster and Plymouth as well discussion about the negotiations and the impact on our city. There will also be a series of interactive Q&A panels around the key planks of Plymouth’s economy, including on jobs, trade and business, the environment, fishing and farming.

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