Deloitte’s Chairman runs referendum scenarios with students

12 July 2016

Last week David Cruickshank, Chairman of Deloitte, went to Holy Family Catholic School in Walthamstow, East London, with his colleague and economist Alex Cole to speak with students as part of Speakers for Schools national EU Referendum: What Now? talk series.


David and Alex spoke to over 100 students aged 16-17 about the potential economic impacts, both positive and negative, of Britain’s exit from the EU on the UK and other countries across the globe, the likelihood of various options surrounding the triggering of Article 50 and how different outcomes might have been achieved if youth voter turnout had been higher.

Drawing on their own research, as well of that of other respected figures, David and Alex plotted the switch over the last 15 years of public opinion regarding the EU on the importance of economy, the NHS and immigration and how this may have played a part in the recent result.

David Cruickshank ventured the view that “What our new relationship with Europe looks like is key to the future of international investment” with Alex adding that long term instability can damage an economy and its growth.”

In response to some excellent and insightful questions the speakers took students through the intrinsic link between the single market and the free movement of people before entering into a debate around what has become a near perennial question in this series which is should 16 and 17 year olds been allowed to vote, if they had would they have turned out to cast their ballot and would it have affected the result?

We were very lucky that David and Alex both stuck around after the session and spoke further with some students on the nuances of the economic projection surrounding Brexit, which further highlighted to depth of consideration the lower sixth form at Holy Family had given to this most complex of issues.

Speakers for Schools would like to thank Deloitte for their ongoing support of our programme, especially David Cruickshank and Alex Cole who provided a highly informative morning for a switched on and eager cohort.