Nottingham will join other major UK cities to meet with the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier next week to discuss how the shared interests of their local communities and businesses can best be met in the lead up to and after Brexit.
Core Cities UK, the ten UK cities at the heart of the biggest urban areas outside London, will visit the European Commission headquarters on Monday 19 February along with MEPs and the president of the European cities network, EUROCITIES, meaning roughly 200 urban centres will be represented at the meeting.
Councillor Jon Collins, the Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We want to put a strong positive case for the importance of the UK’s city-regions continuing to work with Europe.
“This isn’t about undermining the current Brexit negotiations. It’s vital that the UK’s city regions maintain open, productive relationships with other European countries and markets post-Brexit. We’re leaving the EU not Europe.”
“We want to continue to make the case in Europe and build a range of links, including with the European Parliament.”
Councillor Collins added that UK Core Cities have been seeking a meeting with David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union but so far haven’t been successful.
Links with Europe are critical to Nottingham’s economy with 59% of Nottingham’s exports going to the EU. The city’s universities get around £20 million a year from collaborative research funding and have 2,000 students from EU countries registered.
Nottingham has seen nearly £200 million investment from EU programmes since 2000 including funding for Nottingham Contemporary, BioCity and the redevelopment of the Old Market Square.
The Germany city of Karlsruhe is Nottingham longest-standing twin city which has given rise to many business, cultural and civic benefits.
The UK Core Cities urban areas are home to 20m people and generate 25% of the UK economy. They are home to more than a quarter of UK businesses, deliver 29% of UK international trade and host 37.5% of UK university students.
They are also the UK’s most significant international centres for trade outside London. It is estimated Core Cities exported over £72 billion in 2016, of which 48% was to the EU, and 52% to non-EU countries.