6:30pm - 8:30pm
Wednesday 6 November 2019

The Unicorn-Free Brexit Panel

Looking for answers on Brexit rather than spin? Then join us for an evening of debate, grounded in evidence, not what we'd like to believe. Part of a series of events to engage with various aspects of the Brexit debate.


Lecture Theatre G
University of Surrey

Tired of not know what's going on with Brexit? Confused about what it all means, for you and for the UK? Then join us for an evening of refreshingly non-partisan, expert analysis and insight from leading scholars in the fields of Politics, Economics and Law. We'll answer your questions based on evidence, at a time when some of the bigger choices on the UK's relationship with the European Union are just about to be decided.

With a new Prime Minister, a looming deadline for Article 50 and the distinct chance of an early general election, Brexit remains at the forefront of our public and political debate. But a lot of what you hear is from partisans on different sides, more interested in selling their position than setting out what the plain facts of the matter might be. To help redress that, we're offering you the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the leading academic experts on this topic, during a night of question-and-answer in the heart of Guildford.

With expertise in economic, political and legal aspects of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, we can offer a response to all those burning questions that you've never felt you've gotten a straight answer to. And yes, sometimes that answer is going to be that we don't yet know. So, no pitching for your vote, no being evasive, no hand-waving: just straight down-the-line answers, to help you get a handle on all of it. And no unicorns will be hurt in the making of this event, because unicorns don't exist.

The panel will be adapting to reflect the changing complexion of the debate, but will include:

  • Professor Simon Usherwood. Working in the Department of Politics, Simon's research has focused on the negotiations between the UK and EU, the practicalities of Brexit and the wider role of euroscepticism in the UK. He has been Deputy Director of the ESRC-funded "UK in a Changing Europe" programme, dedicated to sharing academic insights into the public debate.
  • Professor Holger Breinlich. Holger is based in the Department of Economics and has produced several key studies into the impact of Brexit on living standards, trade and general economic performance.
  • Dr Laura Chappell. Laura is Senior Lecturer in Politics, researching the EU's foreign and security policy, particularly focusing on its military operations and on its conceptualisation of its strategic role in the world.
  • Dr Noreen O'Meara. Noreen is a Senior Lecturer in Human Rights and European Law. Noreen's work has taken her into questions of the legal relationship between the UK and the EU, as well as the role played by European structures for Human Rights and how they relate to both EU and national legal systems.

The event is sponsored by the ESRC's Festival of Social Science. It also forms part of the University of Surrey Faculty of Social Science's Brexit Symposium 2019.

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