This Post-Brexit Linguanomics

  • Gabrielle Hogan-Brun


This chapter argues that languages are an economic resource. If deployed wisely, business benefits. If ignored, opportunities will be missed. History shows that trade and languages always go hand in hand, offering opportunities for expansion and development. Post-Brexit Britain will need a language strategy as it aims to connect with fresh markets overseas. It should mobilise the already rich bilingual resources of the cosmopolitan UK. There is a strong economic incentive for support with language training across all levels of society. At the policy level this means languages education at school, in further and higher education. Companies too will benefit from funding for language skills training, which in turn will be a means to generate more revenue. Strategic investment is needed in a range of foreign languages to match the changing language needs generated by the market. This will help secure a competitive edge and grow the UK’s intellectual capital.


  1. Bradley, S. (2008, November 20). Languages Generate One Tenth of Swiss GDP. Swissinfo.
  2. Helm, T. (2017, March 5). Hammond Puts Aside £500m to Fill Post-Brexit Skills Gap. The Guardian.
  3. Hill, A. (2015, December 3). Rise of the Multilingual Boss Creates a ‘Monoglot Ceiling’. Swissinfo.
  4. Hogan-Brun, G. (2017). Linguanomics: What Is the Market Potential of Multilingualism? London/New York/New Delhi/Sydney: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  5. Lettau, M. (2017). How Switzerland Exports Its Pride in Craftsmanship. Swiss Review, 1, 6–8.Google Scholar
  6. London Metropolitan Police Recruitment Drive. (2016).
  7. Mackey, A. (2014, September 4). What Happens in the Brain When You Learn a Language? The Guardian.
  8. Oltermann, P. (2017, March 16). Merkel’s Goal for Trump Meeting: Selling German Cars, Not Saving Global Order. The Guardian.
  9. Reisz, M. (2014, December 11). Language Degrees: When the Words Are Not Enough. Times Higher Education, 12.Google Scholar
  10. Summers, L. H. (2017, January 8). @LH Summers 7:45 AM.
  11. The Impact of Foreign Languages on British Business. (2004). Language Survey, British Chambers of Commerce.Google Scholar
  12. UK Adults Regret Losing Language Skills from School Days. (2015, November 16). British Council.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrielle Hogan-Brun
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations