UCL European Institute


Resilience in European Supply Chains: Brexit, COVID-19 and what the future holds

12 January 2021, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm

Resilience in supply chains: Brexit, COVID-19 and what the future holds

Closed, invite-only virtual lunchtime roundtable organised by the UCL European Institute.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

Invitation Only






Avery Anapol

This is a unique opportunity for industry leaders, policy makers and academic experts to participate in a closed, invitation-only event. Limited audience by registration only; if you would like to attend, please email Avery Anapol (avery.anapol.19@ucl.ac.uk).

The aim of this timely event is to set the stage for how UK and European supply chains will fare and can remain resilient in 2021 and beyond, as the twin crises of Covid-19 and Brexit truly take hold.

The outcome of the Brexit negotiations is bound to impact supply chains in 2021. Under no-deal, the imposition of tariffs, regulatory divergence, and associated customs checks and border delays would be particularly disruptive. UK exports and business operations based on just-in-time supply chains may face immense challenges, with knock-on effects for entire industries, and even associated towns and regions. If there is a trade agreement it is likely to be limited in scope, and its precise nature will be determinative for the future of supply chains.

The Covid-19 pandemic threatened to expose vulnerabilities in global supply chains, but the impacts have been less severe than expected. However, the shockwaves caused by China shutting down some manufacturing and restricting PPE exports highlighted the weaknesses of international dependence. Nevertheless, European supply chains have maintained stability, but most businesses were not prepared for this level of global disruption.

There will also be a consideration of how emerging/digital technologies, like blockchain and IoT, can deliver improved supply chain management and efficiency. We will also consider moral dimensions, including supply chain sustainability and the climate crisis, as well as the issue of modern day slavery and how supply chains fuel inequalities.

Speakers (More TBC):

Professor Janet Godsell - Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy, University of Warwick

Dr Jing Meng - Lecturer in Economics & Finance of the Built Environment, UCL Bartlett

Nikhil Vadgama - Deputy Executive Director, UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies

Chair: Joe Mayes - UK Government Reporter, Bloomberg News