Thank you to all that attended the OIA ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ Webinar

We have had excellent feedback from those who joined us for the quality of the speakers and the information provided on the imminent split from the European Union.

If you are interested, you can view the webinar HERE

Passcode: r38kL+Hw

You can download the Webinar presentations HERE


  • 1330 – 1340: Andrew Denton (OIA Chairman)  Introduction and Welcome
  • 1340 – 1405: Mark Essex (Director of Public Policy, KPMG)
  • 1405 – 1420: Kurt Janson (Director, Tourism Alliance)
  • 1420 – 1445: James Allen (Independent Consultant, Counsel) -The politics of Brexit for the outdoor sector.  What do we know, what do we need to do?
  • 1445 – 1455: Arne Strate (Secretary General, The European Outdoor Group)
  • 1455 – 1500: Andrew Denton– Thanks and Round up


Our Chief Executive, Andrew Denton will take centre stage to open and close the webinar.

Andrew has been working in the outdoors since 1984, starting his career in outdoor education and then moving on to a series of senior management & ownership roles in businesses such as Rohan, Mountain Equipment, Sprayway, the Outdoor Sports Company and now ownership of several indoor climbing walls.

He is best known as the modern founder and co-owner of the international technical brand Mountain Equipment where he built the brand over 17 years and then sold in 2003 to The Bollin Group. Andrew has been CEO of the OIA since August 2011.

Mark Essex, Director of Public Policy, KPMG

Mark has a background in strategy. He uses critical thinking, and an analytical approach to come at questions from a different angle.

Mark has been thinking about Brexit for  over two years. The result was no surprise to him. On March 1 2016 he published his forecast: A vote to leave of between 51% and 53%.

Mark now leads an intelligence team which analyses the impact of Vote Leave on business.  A relentless optimist, Mark is determined to originate upsides from the referendum result.

Mark uses cross-sector experience and original thinking to publish on a broad range of topics focussed on original business models.  These include “Brexit, a perspective on bilateral negotiations”, “the Future of the Grocer”, “Reimagine Care”, “Reimagine Feeding Families” and “Healthcare: A timely strategy for Hospitals to manage demand”.

Kurt Janson, Director, The Tourism Alliance

After graduating with a 1st Class Masters in Public Policy, Kurt was employed by the Department of Conservation and then the New Zealand Tourist Board, working national and regional tourism strategy. He moving to Britain in 1997 to work for VisitBritain as Head of Strategic Planning with responsibility for Policy, Strategy, Business Planning and Marketing Evaluation.

Kurt left VisitBritain in 2004 to become the Director of the Tourism Alliance, an umbrella trade association for the tourism and hospitality sector that comprises over 50 industry associations that together represent almost 200,000 UK businesses to lobby Government on issues that support the development of the UK tourism industry. He is a member of several Government advisory groups including the Tourism Industry Council and HMRC’s SMEOF and has written VisitEngland’s “Pink Book” on accommodation legislation since 1999.

Arne Strate, Secretary General, European Outdoor Group

Arne was appointed as the Secretary General of the EOG in January 2019. He joined the EOG in January 2016 and quickly established himself in the executive team, leading on key projects, such as the formation of the It’s Great
Out There Coalition, extensive public affairs work and managing the growth of the association’s membership and its expansion to embrace retailers, technology brands and, most recently, snowboard brand members.

As EOG General Secretary, Arne leads the executive team, working closely with the EOG President, the EOG Board and association members. During the webinar,  Arne will talk about the European outdoor industry and its strong desire to continue working closely with the UK and the UK industries, a strong partnership with the OIA and a fundamental belief in the EOG that ‘You are leaving the EU — not Europe’.

James Allen, Independent Consultant, Counsel Ltd

James Allen founded Counsel Ltd in the summer of 2019. James is an independent consultant offering specialist advice and support on public affairs, policy, strategy, communications and governance. He has a diverse professional background and brings a wealth of experience from a range of executive and non-executive positions. He has successfully delivered a large number of complex projects and led contracts with many clients.

He has worked in a range of senior advisory roles in governance, communications and external affairs. He has worked in sport, in the voluntary sector, as an adviser to corporates in financial services and in a variety of non profit organisations.

He has worked as a Policy Adviser for a senior Cabinet Minister in the UK Government and has extensive Board experience, including as a Non Executive Director at Sport Resolutions UK, where he led the development of the new strategy and as a Trustee of the award winning Disability Sports Coach (where he is Board lead on governance).

James is an Ambassador for the Bristol Sport Foundation and is a pro bono adviser to the Community Foundation of Crystal Palace Football Club. He holds a Masters degree in Public Policy and is ICSA Governance qualified.