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Published: 24 October 2019

Director's notes for October 24

Today’s the day! I’m delighted to announce that this evening, we officially launch the Centre for Britain and Europe, hosted by the British Academy, with an event entitled “Damage Limitation or Sunlit Uplands? Brexit’s Impact on Britain and Europe”. ​​​​​​​

Today’s the day! I’m delighted to announce that this evening, we officially launch the Centre for Britain and Europe, hosted by the British Academy, with an event entitled “Damage Limitation or Sunlit Uplands? Brexit’s Impact on Britain and Europe”.

What will this new Centre do? The purpose of the CBE is to provide high-quality analysis that informs and develops scholarly and public debate on issues affecting the UK and Europe. Operating at the intersection of academia, government, private sector and the media, the CBE is a forum for research, analysis and debate exploring the UK’s evolving and future relationship with Europe, as well as providing critical analyses of specific British and European policies including diplomacy, security, defence, development, regional and international affairs, among others.

In launching the Centre, it was important that this first event met each of these criteria as closely as possible. To that end, and on behalf of the University of Surrey, we’re privileged to welcome our two new Visiting Professors at the Department of Politics, Dr Jamie Shea, who will be chairing the evening’s event, and Susan Scholefield CMG, who will be exploring the impact of Brexit on business in Britain. To look at the pressing issue of defence and external security, we’ll be joined by Lieutenant General (Ret’d) Sir David Bill, KCB, while Dr Uta Staige, Pro-Vice Provost (Europe) from University College London explores the role that higher education plays in the Brexit debate. Helping us to make sense of the perspectives taken by Brussels and the EU, our panel is joined by Dr Roderick Parkes, Senior Analyst, EU Institute for Security Studies (Paris).

This eminent line-up will be perfectly positioned to explore the sectoral impacts that the Brexit debate, as well as its material impact, is likely to have on the UK in the short, medium and long-term, as well as broader diplomatic, security and financial interrelationships between the UK and Europe. Welcoming the panel will be Professor Michael Kearney, Provost of the University of Surrey, and it’ll be my privilege to round off the evening after what I’m sure will be a very lively Q&A session by our engaged audience.

As part of the launch, CBE experts have put together 3 CBE Briefing Notes, each exploring the impact of Brexit on UK Defence and External Security, UK Higher Education, and UK Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: all 3 available on our CBE Research page: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/centre-britain-and-europe/research

The CBE Briefing Notes demonstrate not only inhouse, cross-sectoral expertise on key UK and European issues relative to Brexit, but our commitment to engage with a range of actors and stakeholders, providing access to high-quality contemporary insights on salient British and European issues. In the next few months, watch for a range of CBE outputs including Briefing Notes, papers, reports, articles, and more.

For tonight, and on behalf of my colleagues in the Department of Politics, a warm welcome to everyone despite the rainy weather!