EU the largest export market for UK Cities.

EU the largest export market for UK Cities.

Centre for CitiesThe Centre for Cities are part of the Government’s ‘What Works Network’ and have recently produced a report highlighting how important the EU trading bloc is for our cities with 45% of city exports being sent to the EU. The key findings are:


  • Cities account for 64 per cent of all of Britain’s exports.
  • The EU is by far the largest export market for every British city with 45 per cent of city exports being sent to the bloc.
  • Despite the size of other markets such as the US, these remain much smaller than that of the EU, which is more than three times larger than the USA and more than 20 times larger than China.
  • While exports are often thought of in terms of goods, services account for 57% of all city exports and they may face barriers in a goods-only customs arrangement.
  • Cities in the Greater South East tend to perform much better than those in the North and Midlands, and this tends to be driven by their strength in service exports.
  • Edinburgh, Cardiff and London are among the cities exporting the most services to the EU.

The fill report can be be read HERE.



European Elections 23-26th May

European Elections 23-26th May

The elections to the European Parliament are getting ever closer. Your views will only be represented in the European Parliament if you participate and vote. Europe Direct East Midlands (North) are non-political and promote knowledge about the European Union on a variety of topics. Knowledge on how to participate is essential. Low turnouts at elections can cause unexpected outcomes and  therefore democracy works best when there is mass participation. Make sure you are registered and know how to vote.

To Help with this the European Union have are  organising events in the UK and across Europe. Visit the This Time I’m Voting website for more information and to sign up to play your part in a full and effective election process, especially if it transpires that the UK does in fact participate in the European Elections.

This time I'm voting

For EU citizens residing in the UK there is a useful chart below that informs about the different voting retirements for EU citizens residing outside the nation state.

Euro Elections clear chart

Annual inflation down to 1.4% in the euro area.

Annual inflation down to 1.4% in the euro area.

The euro area annual inflation rate was 1.4% in March 2019, down from 1.5% in February 2019. A year earlier, the rate was 1.4%. European Union annual inflation was 1.6% in March 2019, stable compared to February 2019. A year earlier, the rate was 1.6%.

These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European
Union. The lowest annual rates were registered in Portugal (0.8%) and Greece (1.0%). The highest annual rates were recorded in Romania (4.2%), Hungary (3.8%) and the Netherlands (2.9%). Compared with February 2019, annual inflation fell in six Member States, remained stable in two and rose in nineteen.
The full News Release is available HERE.

European Community Grants Available

European Community Grants Available

Applications are invited for ESF Community Grants for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The ESF fund is managed by the Local Economic Partnership D2N2 and are intended for small voluntary and community organisations with a turnover of less than £300,000. Applications should be made through the Futures website, more details can be found on the link provided in the image.


The grants are designed for projects that engage and reach hard to reach individuals and bring them closer to the labour market. Grants will support progression, helping participants to feel confident about moving into employment.

Grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 are available for projects or initiatives that help people take steps towards a future career and reduce unemployment and inactivity, including:

  • initial help with basic skills
  • taster work experience including voluntary work
  • training, advice and counselling
  • confidence building
  • job search assistance and other help necessary to secure employment
  • first contact engagement activities

Eligible Learners must be:

  • Unemployed
  • Over 16
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Not engaged in any other government funded training scheme

Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate an ability to meet the LEP Priorities and target participants who are:

  • Over 50
  • With Learning Difficulties and Disabilities
  • From Ethnic Minority Backgrounds
  • Are women
  • Unemployed for over 6 months
  • Furthest removed from the labour market with significant barriers to employment

There will be three application rounds in 2019/20:Round 1

15th April 2019 – 17th May 2019Round 2
15th Nov 2019 – 15th Dec 2019Round 3
15th June 2020 – 15th July 2020
Please contact Claire Penny, Futures for Business Consultant on 07709353071 or Rosemary Mansfield, Bid Specialist on 077501682416 if you have any questions about the application.




MEPs approve boost to workers’ rights in the gig economy

MEPs approve boost to workers’ rights in the gig economy

MEPs approved minimum rights for workers with on-demand, voucher-based or platform jobs, such as Uber or Deliveroo, in a vote on Tuesday.

The law, already agreed with EU ministers, grants a set of minimum rights for those in casual or short-term employment, on-demand workers, intermittent workers, voucher-based workers, platform workers, as well as paid trainees and apprentices if they work a minimum of three hours per week and 12 hours per four weeks on average. Self-employed workers will be excluded from the new rules.

Better protection for new forms of employment

The specific set of rights to cover new forms of employment includes:

  • Workers with on-demand contracts or similar forms of employment should benefit from a minimum level of predictability such as predetermined reference hours and reference days. They should also be able to refuse, without consequences, an assignment outside predetermined hours or be compensated if the assignment was not cancelled in time.
  • Member states shall adopt measures to prevent abusive practices, such as limits to the use and duration of the contract.
  • The employer should not prohibit, penalise or hinder workers from taking jobs with other companies if this falls outside the work schedule established with that employer.

New rules for probationary period and training

Probationary periods will be no longer than six months or proportionate to the expected duration of the contract in the case of fixed-term employment. A renewed contract for the same function will not result in a new probationary period.

Finally, the employer will provide mandatory training, which will count as working time, free of charge. When possible, such training should be completed within working hours.

European Council decision taken in agreement with the United Kingdom, extending the period under Article 50 TEU

European Council decision taken in agreement with the United Kingdom, extending the period under Article 50 TEU

After a long night, running into the morning, the EU27 and the UK agreed a further extension under Article 50.

In simple terms the agreement means:

  • A Brexit extension, only as long as required, with a maximum extension of 31st October to allow for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement.
  • If the UK does not leave the EU by 1st June it will be required to hold elections to the European Parliament.
  • The European Council reiterates there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations.

After the summit European Council president Donald Tusk offered the following remarks:

“Tonight the European Council decided to grant the United Kingdom a flexible extension of the Article 50 period until the 31st of October. This means an additional 6 months for the UK. During this time, the course of action will be entirely in the UK’s hands. It can still ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, in which case the extension will be terminated. It can also reconsider the whole Brexit strategy. That might lead to changes in the Political Declaration, but not in the Withdrawal Agreement. Until the end of this period, the UK will also have the possibility to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit altogether.

The UK will continue its sincere cooperation as a full member state with all its rights, and as a close friend and trusted ally in the future.

Let me finish with a message to our British friends: this extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected, but it’s still enough to find the best possible solution. Please do not waste this time.”

The full decision of the European Council can be read below: