The panellists discussed the public and private impact and opportunities of Brexit, focusing on reform post-Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.

Speakers

  • Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds
  • Gerald Mason, Senior Vice President, Tate & Lyle Sugars
  • Shanker Singham, Director of Economic Policy and Prosperity Studies; Chairman of the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission

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About the Speakers

Geoffrey has been the Member for the Cotswolds since 1997. He is currently Co-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Trade and Investment and a Board Member of the Conservative Party and an Executive Member of the 1922 Committee. Under David Cameron, he served as Shadow Minister for Trade & Foreign Affairs and was later appointed as the Shadow Minister for International Development and Trade with responsibility for encouraging inward investment, promoting British business overseas and the World Trade Organisation. Since becoming an MP in 1992 (Cirencester & Tewkesbury) Geoffrey has served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt. Hon Douglas Hogg QC MP, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; a Member of the Environment Select Committee and a Member of the Public Accounts House of Commons Select Committee. In June 2002, he became a Shadow Minister for Local & Devolved Government Affairs and in March 2004, he was appointed as an Opposition Whip. In May 2005, he became Assistant Chief Whip. He is an active member of the Finance and Services Committee of the House since 2005.

Gerald has been with Tate & Lyle Sugars, the EU’s largest cane sugar refiner, for 14 years. He has held various senior positions including responsibility for raw cane sugar purchasing, business strategy, relationships with regulators, and a number of large capital investment projects. As well as everyday management responsibilities, a disproportionate amount of Gerald’s time has been spent fighting unfair EU agricultural and trade policies that are the biggest drag on the competitiveness of the business. After fighting and failing to get the EU to reform these bad policies Gerald wrote to his 850 colleagues just prior to the EU Referendum informing them he would vote to leave the EU. The key focus for him now is grasping the opportunities that Brexit will bring by putting cane sugar refining back on a level playing field with its EU beet sugar producing competitors and securing the future of its 850 direct employees.

Shanker leads the Legatum Institute’s Economics of Prosperity work which examines how countries can become more productive, and the role free trade—with open, competitive markets—plays in helping people of all incomes increase their prosperity. He is also Chairman of the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission. Previously, Shanker was head of market access at Squire Sanders and Managing Director of the Competitiveness and Enterprise Cities project at Babson Global. Currently, he is the CEO of Competere. Shanker has worked with governments and companies around the world on market opening and transition issues, including on the early privatisations of the UK electricity market, the former Soviet Union, the accession of Poland and Hungary to the EU, the transitions in Latin America after the apertura and the WTO accessions of a number of countries, including China and Russia. In 1997, Shanker founded the International Roundtable on Trade and Competition as a way of promoting the notion of free trade, competitive markets and property rights protection around the world. A cleared advisor to the United States government on trade issues, he is also Non-Government Adviser to the International Competition Network. Shanker has also been a senior trade and economics adviser to a number of political candidates including Democratic Governors Lawton Chiles and Buddy McKay of Florida as well as Governor Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. He is the author of A General Theory of Trade and Competition: Trade Liberalisation and Competitive Markets (Cameron May Publishing, 2007).

About the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission

The Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission (STC) forms part of the Economics of Prosperity programme. It seeks to re-focus the public discussion on Brexit towards a positive conversation about potential opportunities, rather than challenges, while presenting empirical evidence of the dangers of not following an expansive trade negotiating path. The STC and its commissioners will draw upon the talent of experienced former trade negotiators from the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, among other nations. The STC will host a number of public briefings that offer advice to key stakeholders on EU negotiations.