European Studies Research Group organises panel on 'Brexit'

On Wednesday 16 March 2016, the European Studies Research Group of the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) hosted a panel discussion on the upcoming referendum on UK’s membership of the EU and its impact on the country's foreign policy. The event, which attracted a large number of students and members of staff, was chaired by the co-convenors of the European Studies Research Group, Dr George Kyris and Dr Julian Pänke.


The panel brought together researchers from diverse backgrounds: Ian Bond, who is Foreign Policy Director of the London-based think thank Centre for European Reform drew on his extensive experiences as a British diplomat in a range of different regions, including the Baltic Republics, south-east Europe, Russia and the United States, to discuss the strengthened global position of the UK due to its EU membership. Dr Jocelyn Mawdsley, who is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle specialising in EU’s foreign relations and British Security policy, also discussed what lessons can the Scottish referendum offer for the campaign to remain or leave the EU and potential repercussions of a 'Brexit' for the British-Irish relations, specifically regarding Northern Ireland. Last but not least, our very own Professor Mark Webber, who is the head of School of Government and Society and an expert of EU and international security, reflected on the security implications of the referendum, such as the role of NATO. In the end, the speakers had the opportunity to answer a series of questions posed by both students and staff.

Dr George Kyris and Dr Julian Panke, who hosted the event, commented that "the event offered a great opportunity for both staff and students of the university to discuss one of the most pressing issues of European politics at the moment with a range of experts on the topic, from a variety of backgrounds. As such, it showcased the contribution that research can make to wider politics and society by enabling a more informed debate".

The event was one of a number of events taking place in the School of Government and Society during this academic year designed to bridge the link between research and the student community, focusing on issues from contemporary politics and society.