Political figures gathered in the West Midlands today for a high-level conference on post-Brexit policy - just hours after the UK left European Union.
The event - titled “After Getting Brexit Done”- was organised by Anthea McIntyre to take place the morning after her mandate ended as Conservative MEP for the region.
Sessions covered at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel, Meriden, included security, tackling international crime and future trade opportunities for the West Midlands with Europe and the world.
It took place under the banner of the Conservative Friends of the European Conservative and Reformists Group, a group set up to maintain links with the party's centre-Right allies on the continent..
Key speakers included Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman, Justice Minister Wendy Morton, and regional MPs Stuart Anderson and Saqib Bhatti.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, stressed the economic strength and potential of the region which was showing 4.7 per cent growth and the best job-creation record in the country.
He said the region had for 40 years had endured the worst economic performance in the country but had been transformed "from laggard to leader."
Flemish MEP Assita Kanko, lead speaker in the crime debate, said Britain had left the EU but there was still much to be done to tackle cross-border crime such as human trafficking and terrorism and to protect children and women from abuse and exploitation.
She urged: "We must continue that fight together - despite our changed relationship. We must find a way for that good co-operation to continue undiminished."
Miss McIntyre said: "We are leaving the EU but not leaving Europe. We are engaging with the world, while seeking to maintain the close co-operation with the EU states which has served us well and kept us safe.
"This is important for both sides and for the global community. I believe that with a One Nation Government keen to level up Britain's economy, with a Conservative mayor and with key infrastructure investment on the cards, there is a very bright future for the West Midlands."