Skip to main content

Brexit, foreign corporate subsidiaries and regional development

Brexit will have a potentially significant influence on corporate strategies and production, and regions closely integrated with global production networks.

This project examines the impact and response to Brexit by foreign subsidiaries through these research questions:

  1. What influence is Brexit having on the strategies of foreign corporations with operations in the UK?
  2. What is the impact of Brexit corporate strategies on foreign subsidiaries and host UK regions?
  3. How are subsidiaries seeking to mediate changes to corporate strategies arising from Brexit?
  4. To what extent are there geographical and sectoral differences in terms of corporate responses to Brexit?

The project will examine these questions through critical engagement with literatures on global production networks, and the deliberative arrangements of corporations, since the corporate ‘subsidiary’ is essentially a ‘nexus’ between host regions and the broader globally-configured corporation.

This recognises that regional development is explicitly related to deliberations that occur within corporations and the global production networks that work through.

The project compares the processes taking place in UK regions with different economic trajectories, focusing on Lowland Scotland, Wales, the West Midlands and Southeast England.

The project examines these questions with regards to the Automotive, and Software and Information Technology sectors. Through such an approach it is possible to gauge the responses to Brexit by corporate subsidiaries located in regions that possess different economic sectors and degrees of regional development.

The outputs of the project will provide substantial knowledge on how corporations and their subsidiaries are responding to Brexit and the early implications for regions.

The project team

Principal investigator

Dr Crispian Fuller

Dr Crispian Fuller

Reader in Human Geography


This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: