Panel Discussion on 'Britain’s Brexit turmoil after the European Parliament Elections: Communities in Collision or Cohesion?

Wed, 26 Jun 2019 18:30 in Discussion Forums

Date: 26th June
Time: 6:30pm

Abstract

The discussion aims to explore the impact of Brexit on our communities in London and beyond as the issue has had a significant impact on community relations, perhaps much more than what we had initially comprehended. As one scholar put it ‘being a ‘Remainer’ or a ‘Leaver’ has become part of people’s self-identity, and a label to which they feel an emotional bond.’ No doubt, the divorce process with the EU has exerted its influence in the recent European Parliament election results; further revealing the deepening polarisation In British society. Essentially, as many have argued, the country is fundamentally split into two with no clear path to a resolution which could possibly ignite a series of societal crises in the UK. Given the current climate and tensions both locally and globally, building and maintaining good community relations is even more paramount and the discussion aims to contribute to this.

Biographies

Prof Adam Fagan is a Professor of European Politics as well as Vice-Dean (Education) for the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy. Adam held a Chair at Queen Mary University of London, where he was also Head of the School of Politics and International Relations. Adam’s research primarily focuses on the Europeanization of South-East Europe and the Western Balkans. He has recently started to work on populism and the far-right in post-communist Europe, focusing in particular on the interaction between far-right parties and civil society networks. He is also conducting research on pro-EU activism in the UK.

Jonathan Fryer is a freelance writer, lecturer and broadcaster on international affairs. He worked for Reuters in Brussels and covered the European Parliament as a journalist for several years. He now writes mainly for the BBC and the Guardian, as well as commentating for Middle Eastern TV channels. He has published 15 non-fiction books, including volumes on Brussels and London and a childhood memoir, Eccles Cakes. He also lectures part-time at SOAS, University of London. Jonathan is currently Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson for London and Chair of the Liberal International British Group. He stood for the London constituency in recent European Parliament elections.

Dr Madeleine Ward is a researcher at Theos Think Tank where she joined in October 2018. She is researching the relationship between social cohesion and the church, in partnership with the Free Churches Group. She holds a doctorate in Theology from the University of Oxford, and previously worked as a research scholar at a conference, research and retreat centre in Philadelphia. She is the author of ‘The Christian Quaker: George Keith and the Keithian Controversy’ (Brill: 2019).

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