What Happens Next? Coronavirus, Brexit and Industrial Strategy

James Silverwood (Artist)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchWeb publication/site


Ten months after Boris Johnson finally seized the reins of power he had coveted, where Brexit once stood ascendant as the animating feature of British politics, attention is now understandably fixed on his government’s response to the Coronavirus public health pandemic; a situation complicated by Mr. Johnson’s unfortunate admission to hospital with symptoms of the virus. Yet the necessary domination of the political agenda by Coronavirus has momentarily obscured the many tensions wrought by Brexit across many areas of public policy, pressures that will still need to be overcome once the global public health pandemic has been brought under control and overcome. One example a future government will need to address is the tension that exists between Brexit and industrial strategy, which can only properly be understood by placing the discussion within the grand historical arc of industrial strategy since the late seventeenth century. Such a broad narrative sweep, however, is unrealistic for a blog, and so instead we pick up the story in the 1960s by highlighting how the overwhelming priority of UK industrial strategy has often been to position its open economy within the international economic order. This is different from the experience in other countries where industrial strategy has commonly shown Listian qualities in the creation and preservation of national champions.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCoventry University Research Blog
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020


  • industrial strategy
  • Industrial policy
  • British politics
  • International Political Economy


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