News

Written on 11 Jul 2019

Former DExEU chief Philip Rycroft publishes thoughts on challenges of Brexit with the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, Cambridge

The Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge has released the full transcript of a lecture by former lead Brexit chief Philip Rycroft outlining his thoughts on the challenges which Brexit is generating for the Union, and the wider development of British identity.

Dover and channel

The publication follows on from his widely publicised recent interview on Panorama where he outlined the risks of a no-deal Brexit.

The lecture, given on the 26th of June at the annual conference of the Centre for Science and Policy based at Cambridge University, sets out a number of deep questions posed by Brexit, including whether Britain will remain liberal in regards to international trade, and whether it will still be viewed as a creative, diverse and tolerant nation. And it offers various thoughts about the kinds of policies needed to address emerging constitutional and territorial tensions.

The publication is introduced by political scientist Professor Michael Kenny, Director of the Bennett Institute.

He comments: “After hearing Philip Rycroft deliver this lecture, I knew that this was something that needed to be published in full for a wider audience. It speaks to some of the most sensitive constitutional questions raised by Brexit and also addresses the disenfranchisement of left behind communities – all questions that are central to our work at the Bennett Institute. The lecture is thoughtful and measured, but also candid and salutary about the challenges we face in the UK, and the kinds of question we need to be asking as we prepare to leave the EU.”

At the end of the lecture Philip Rycroft writes: “And like the outcome or not, the challenge of place and of identity cannot stop at the point of exit, whenever that might come. In a very profound way, Brexit will oblige us to think very hard about ourselves, our place in the world and how we hold ourselves as a country. Our sense of social cohesion, indeed the very cohesion of the United Kingdom, will depend on it.”

The lecture ‘Place policy after Brexit’ is available online here.


For more information contact Lucy Theobald, Communications Manager, Bennett Institute for Public Policy: lac59@cam.ac.uk