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Brexit impacts: Midlands Business Confidence Monitor event

Author: ICAEW Midland Region

Published: 31 Mar 2021

With Covid-19 lockdown restrictions again creating business challenges, and many companies also navigating changes to their operations following the end of the Brexit transition period, this is an incredibly pivotal time for the Midlands region. This event featured key speakers giving their insight into economic recovery across the Midlands .

Chaired by ICAEW's Director for Business and Industrial Strategy, Iain Wright FCA, our expert speakers provided their viewpoints, creating a lively and informative discussion about the pandemic and Brexit, the impacts and opportunities of the combination, and how local and regional economies can move forward stronger than ever.

Our panel speakers included:

  • Margot James, Executive Chair of WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group).
  • Kevin Harris FCA, ICAEW Chartered Accountant, Board Member at Midlands Engine, Chair of Leicester and Leicestershire Economic Partnership (LLEP) and Managing Partner (Leicester Office) at RSM.
  • Dr Mick (Michael) Carling, Head of Partnerships - Midlands, Department for International Trade.

ICAEW's Regional Director for the Midlands, Dr Sophie Dale-Black, provided a short overview of the latest research findings on business confidence at a regional and national level, using ICAEW’s newly published Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) data

A breakout format was used following the panel session, focusing on four themes of importance during these challenging times: People, Supply chain management, Customs procedures and VAT/Taxes. Each breakout room featured an introductory speaker to stimulate themes for discussion among attendees and discussions will be briefly reported back to all attendees to close the event:


Chaired by Rachel Underhill, ICAEW's Senior Business Strategy Manager

Introductory speaker - Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Analyst, CIPD.

Supply chain management

Chaired by Johnathan Dudley FCA, Chair of ICAEW's Manufacturing Community advisory group and Midlands and South West Managing Partner and Head of Manufacturing Business at Crowe UK

Introductory speaker - Charlotte Horobin, Region Director for the Midlands and East of England at Make UK.

Customs procedure

Chaired by John Boulton FCA, ICAEW's Director for Technical Policy.

Introductory speaker - Paul Edwick FCA, Chief Executive of Lucy Locket (Fairy Glam Ltd).


Chaired by Praveen Gupta ACA CTA, National Head of Tax at Azets.

Introductory speaker - Frank Haskew FCA, ICAEW's Head of Tax.