Brexit Event

Sunday, 1st October 2017

Any event giving insight on Brexit is going to spark debate and today’s event was no exception.

A stellar line-up of speakers including Sir John Timpson CBE, Chairman and Owner, Timpsons, Scott Fletch MBE, Founder, ANS, Mark Blackhurst, Co-Owner, Digital Next and Helen Tse MBE, Partner, Clarke Wilmott, with Steve Rosser, CEO, Clarke Wilmott as compare.

Where were you when Brexit was announced? A superb opening line from the host Steve Rosser.  The event was organised by pro-manchester to celebrate the launch of Helen’s book, ‘Doing business after Brexit: A practical guide to the Legal changes.’

Sir John Timpson CBE kicked off the event. Anyone who listens to John can’t fail to be inspired. His family business has grown from strength to strength over the years with increased store openings and revenue in a tough retail industry. His strategy of upside down management is forward thinking and the nurturing and mentoring he does through his business for both young and old is inspirational. So what does Brexit means to him? Well, nothing. As someone who has never abided by conventional rules, it appears John very much still aims to be in full control of his business – Brexit or no Brexit. His wanting to be part of a stronger better Britain is driven by the hope of less red tape. He believes his business has exactly the same prospects pre 23rd June as post and will continue doing exactly what he has been doing with proven success.

Scott Fletcher, a Brexit campaigner, has strong opinions on the UK economy and the growth of Manchester, stemming from his Droyslden roots. He believes that every city needs to do what it needs to do and that Europe should be a group of strong national countries independently governed. As far as Brexit is concerned his stance – we need to fully get out and negotiate a trading deal. So, what does he think Britain will look like after the European Union? A technology companies dream! Innovation, integration, smarter business solutions even with perhaps negative effects. By 2027 15% of all jobs will be lost to automation, a frightening figure in a country where employment is finally stable. Money needs to be spent widely on developing systems and technologies for efficient working not being spent on low skilled labour.

Scott Fletcher’s vision ‘We can’t carry on being dictated to, we need to be free to make our own decisions to benefit our industries, our city’s and our futures. I see a dynamic and innovative North West’

As the owner of a digital business, Mark Blackhurst knows the impact of technology and innovation. As a company that has grown hugely over the past 6 years, he advocates the power of online and connectivity. As a contrast to the previous speakers, Mark sees both sides of the Brexit negotiations seeing the economical and societal benefits for both.

His quote that a staggering 92% of the population use the internet every day, shows there is no bounds and therefore neither should your company.  To avoid the skills shortage, we need to look to the youth, apprenticeships and graduate schemes.

Our final and key speaker for the day is Helen Tse MBE, Partner at Clarke Wilmott. With years of experience advising businesses on corporate and commercial matters, she found that her time over the past year has been spent answering questions about everything Brexit. Her practical approach to advising her clients led her to produce her book ‘Doing business after Brexit: A practical guide to the Legal changes‘. This guide covers everything you might need to know and a great starting point for anyone having to make changes to their business.

Talking us through the practical points of the European government and Brexit, Helen notes the priorities that are being negotiated.

1) Agreeing what rights EU citizens already in the UK – and UK citizens living in the rest of the EU – will have after Brexit.

2) Agreeing a figure for the amount of money the UK has to pay the rest of the EU “to settle its accounts”, when it leaves.

3) Working out what will happen on the border between Northern Ireland, when it is outside the EU, and the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU.


The EU says it wants to make decent progress on these three issues before beginning talks about what the UK’s relations with the EU will be like after Brexit.

As negotiations continue, it is still crucial to look at immigration, working visa’s, border controls, passports, EU travel, EU workers and much more. With 29th March 2019 ear-marked as d-day, the probability of this being extended is likely. As the uncertainty of Brexit continues, the one certainty is that we need to be ready for anything.

Thanks to all who attended the event. For those who didn’t make it, please contact Helen Tse for more information. [email protected] or [email protected] or visit