MacKay Hannah

Brexit Is Coming: Understanding what happens next


Michael Russell MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Scottish Government

Brought up in Troon in Ayrshire and educated at Edinburgh University, he has lived in Argyll for over 20 years.

Mr Russell was previously Minister for Environment from 2007 until 2009 and then served as Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution before moving to the role of Cabinet Secretary for Education which he held until 2014.

He is the Constituency Member of the Scottish Parliament for Argyll & Bute.

He is the author of seven books including one novel, has one son and lives with his wife in rural Argyll.

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Carolyn Currie

Chief Executive, Women's Enterprise Scotland and Conference Chair

Carolyn has enjoyed an extensive career at a senior level in financial services working with a variety of clients from large corporates to the SME and not for profit sector. Roles undertaken include Head of Business Lending at RBS where she developed and grew the multi-billion-pound lending book. An advocate of continuous improvement, she achieved industry recognition and awards for lending products and a personal award for Outstanding Excellence in SME delivery.

While working in Strategy & Business Management Carolyn led the delivery of new tech sales support systems and digital communications programmes. She also co-founded the Women in Business programme in NatWest and RBS. A global leading programme which developed staff talent, in addition to better meeting the needs of the growing women’s sector of the SME community. 

​Carolyn has addressed the Global Banking Alliance conference in Sydney, Australia, contributed policy papers to the World Economic Forum in Davos, is a member of the UK Women’s Enterprise Policy Group and the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

As Chief Operating Officer Carolyn manages the day-to-day operation and sets the strategic direction. Carolyn participates in the T20, the think-tank body of the G20 and is an advocate of women’s economic empowerment, business growth, leadership and boardroom diversity.




Lynda Towers

Director of Public Law, Morton Fraser

Lynda is Director of Public Law within our Litigation Division based in Edinburgh.

She has spent most of her career with the Scottish Government, advising on public law issues. She has been involved in instructing and drafting legislation and has had considerable experience in public sector litigation in courts in Scotland and across the UK. She specialised in judicial review challenges, planning and other statutory appeals and in general reparation.

Lynda spent 8 years as Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament where she advised the Presiding Officer, the Chief Executive and the Committees of the Parliament on matters of legislative competence and on wider issues of public law. Lynda has a significant breadth of understanding of public and constitutional law issues in Scotland, of related litigation and of the policy and process surrounding law and decision making.

Lynda’s areas of expertise lie in litigation and dispute resolution, public procurement and state aid, personal injury, government, local government, public sector partners, data protection and GDPR.



Mark Roberts

Audit Director, Audit Scotland

Mark Roberts has worked for Audit Scotland for 10 years leading a range of performance audit work across the whole public sector. Since April 2018, he has been Audit Scotland's lead on withdrawal from the European Union. He has previously been a clerk in the Scottish Parliament and worked for two public bodies: the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Natural Environment Research Council.  

Professor David Bell

Professor of Economics, University of Stirling

David Bell was educated at Dornoch Academy, the University of Aberdeen and the London School of Economics. He was awarded a PhD at the University of Strathclyde in 1984 and has worked at the Universities of St Andrews, Strathclyde, Warwick and Glasgow. He has been Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling since 1990 specialising in labour economics and fiscal federalism. He was adviser to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament from 2007 to 2013 and has provided advice to the ILO, OECD, the Scottish, Westminster and Irish Governments. In 2015, he was specialist adviser to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee for its investigation into the Financing of Devolution. He has appeared numerous times in the Scottish Parliament as a witness to the Economy Committee, the Health and Sport Committee, the Welfare Committee, the Devolution Committee, and the Finance Committee. He has also appeared several times as a witness at the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the IZA, Bonn and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He is a member of the Centre on Constitutional Change and the Centre for Population Change and a special adviser to the David Hume Institute. He is also Principal Investigator of the Healthy AGeing In Scotland (HAGIS) survey, a longitudinal survey of older people in Scotland, which is funded by the US National Institute of Aging and the Nuffield Foundation. He has extensive media experience in Scotland and the UK as a whole.

He is regularly consulted by the media for expert views in relation to: youth unemployment, constitutional change, education policy and long-term care. Broadcast media appearances include BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Scotland News, BBC Scotland Newsnight, STV News and Channel 4. He is also a regular contributor to The Scotsman newspaper and has appeared in a number of other print publications. Other Positions and Honours: 1998-2000 Member of the Care Development Group, Scottish Government 2003-2004 Member of the Range and Capacity Review Group 2003-2007 Member of the ESRC Training and Development Board 2004-2006 Member of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Advisory Group on the Funding of Long-Term Care 2002- Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2007-2008 Member of Lord Sutherland's Independent Review into free personal & nursing care in Scotland 2007 - Budget Adviser, Finance Committee, Scottish Parliament 2007- Fellow of the World Demographic Association 2008- Research Associate, IZA, Bonn 2008-2010 Member of Commission on Scottish Devolution Expert Group 2003-2007 Member of ESRC Training and Development Board 2011- Member of Scottish Doctoral Training Centre Board 2011- Director of Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) Work and Well- being Programme 2011- Member of CemMap Advisory Committee (Centre for Micro-econometric Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies) 2012 ESRC Research Fellow on Constitutional Change Awards RATE (Recognising Achievement in Teaching Excellence) awards 2012, ‘For Excellence in Postgraduate Education’ and ‘Excellence in Teaching’, in the Stirling Management School.


Professor Drew Scott

Professor of European Union Studies, School of Law, Edinburgh University

Drew Scott is an economist by training, and has for many years researched and taught European economic integration. He has published widely in the area, most recently on subsidiarity, economic and monetary union and economic and social cohesion. He has acted as expert to various EC agencies, including the European Commission and the Statistical Office of the EU.

Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, Drew Scott was Lecturer in Economics at Heriot-Watt University. His current research includes the impact of devolution on the UK's European policy-process, and problems of economic policy coordination in a devolved UK. From 1991-98 Drew was joint editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies.

Drew delivered his inaugural lecture on 13 April, 2004, on the topic "Regions and European Union Governance: Lessons from Scotland".

Drew Scott is Co-Director (with Professor Jo Shaw) of the Europa Institute.


Dr Rebecca Zahn

Senior Lecturer - Law, University of Strathclyde

My main research interests and specialisation lie in the fields of European Law and Labour Law (particularly European, national, and comparative labour law). I am particularly interested in the interaction between the EU and national level, and between different EU Member States' legal systems in the field of labour law.

I am currently working on an historical labour law project which examines the interactions between exiled German trade unionists and British trade unions during World War Two. I have published widely in the field of (European) labour law including a monograph entitled New Labour Laws in Old Member States (CUP, 2017). The book was reviewed in the Industrial Law Journal (2018) 47:2 and (2018) 43(3) European Law Review where it was described as ‘socio-legal EU scholarship of the very best sort […] a rich and theoretically informed novel account of the law in practice; and inspiration for future legal developments. Beautifully produced and exquisitely written, it is a joy to read and a model for all to emulate.’

My contribution to the field of labour and employment relations research was acknowledged in 2018 when I was a runner up of the International Labor and Employment Relations Associations’ (ILERA) Luis Aparicio Prize for emerging scholars. I have also published doctrinal work on the contract of employment which was cited with approval in the Supreme Court decision Société Générale v Geys [2012] UKSC 63. I am currently (together with David Cabrelli) examining the relationship between domination-based conceptions of social justice and labour law.

I am a case and comment editor for the Juridical Review (the Law Journal of the Scottish Universities) and an editor of Green's Employment Law Bulletin. I am on the management board of the Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE) and am one of the lead academics in the Civil Society Brexit Project, funded by the Legal Education Foundat.

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John Edward

former Head of Office in Scotland, the European Parliament

John Edward is currently Director at Scottish Council of Independent Schools. This is an education charity which represents and supports independent schools in Scotland both domestically and internationally. In that capacity he is a member of the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board and Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme Advisory Board.

John is a political and policy analyst with 25 years’ experience covering a wide range of policy fields in Brussels and Scotland and he has substantial experience in analysis and communication of UK and devolved parliamentary systems.  He served on the Presiding Officer’s Commission for Parliamentary Reform in 2017; and the Steel and Campbell Commissions.

John has also previously worked as Senior Campaign Spokesperson for Scotland Stronger In Europe in 2016, as Parliamentary Manager for Scottish Enterprise, and as EU Policy manager for Scotland Europa. 

Professor Russel Griggs OBE

Chair, Scottish Government Independent Advisory Regulatory Review Group

Professor Russel Griggs OBE started his business life in marketing in the pharmaceutical industry and then moved to the consumer flooring industry before becoming CEO of an industrial textile company in England in the 1980s. In 1990 he joined Scottish Enterprise in a business development role and became an Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise where he ran the investment banking and business development arms, as well as spending some years in the USA looking at outward investment for Scottish companies.

Since then he has had a number of non-executive positions in the private, public and third sector, as well as undertaking a variety of strategic work for public bodies and private companies. From 2007 to 2010, he was Chair of the CBI’s UK SME Council and of various other government committees. He was also until recently a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of VisitScotland, a Board member of Scottish Enterprise, a Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Government, and a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.

He currently chairs the Scottish Government’s independent Regulatory Review Group who advise and work on better regulation in Scotland. In 2011 he was appointed jointly by the banks, industry, and UK Government as the Independent External Reviewer to the task force for clearing banks in the UK to ‘audit’ their new appeals process for businesses appealing against credit being declined.

He is honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow, an associate Professor at Boston University, and a member of the board of the Business School at Georgia Southern University. He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2008 for services to Scottish industry.

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All of the speakers worked well together all covering different relevant areas to provide an all round picture.

Carrie Campbell, Thomson Cooper,
Fraser of Allander Scotland's Budget Briefing, 26 September 2017