BREXIT, Borders and The Vision for Europe

Online Webinar
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 9:30am

Organized by our Europe Canada Network colleagues at the University of Victoria.

Dr. Oliver Schmidtke (University of Victoria, Professor at the department of Political Science and History, director of the Centre for Global Studies) moderates the discussion and the presentations by two speakers: Dr. Katy Hayward (Reader in Sociology at Queen's University Belfast) and Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (Professor in Public Administration and Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance at the University of Victoria).

The decision-making process regarding the UK’s exit from the European Union has reached its final and most dramatic stage. During the week of January 14, the House of Commons will vote on Prime Minister May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement. Yet, the ‘divorce deal’ agreed upon by EU and UK negotiators is still far away from being approved in Parliament. One of the key issues for opponents of the deal is the so-called ‘backstop’ for the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. There is widespread agreement that avoiding the return of a "hard border" - physical checks or infrastructure - after Brexit is critical with a view to the legacy of the Good Friday Peace agreement and the risks to the Irish economy. At the same time, the backstop for the Irish border has become a highly contentious issues as its critics allege that it would keep the UK tied to the EU’s customs union and possibly endanger the constitutional integrity of the UK (by establishing a border regime between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK). At first sight, it might be surprising to realize that the backstop for the Irish border has become, as DUP leader Nigel Dodds puts it, the ‘poison' in the Brexit deal. Cross-border mobility is one of the elemental four freedoms on which the project of European integration rests. The free movement of goods, services, capital and persons has shaped social, political, economic and cultural life in the European Union in fundamental ways. Against this background, what does Brexit mean for the project of the single market and cross-border mobility? Why is the Irish border of such importance for the ongoing Brexit debates? Does Brexit indicate a return to borders in the wake of a nationalist-populist resurgence?

Our speakers for this webinar include Katy Hayward and Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly. Katy Hayward is Reader in Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast. She has 20 years’ research experience on the impact of the EU on the Irish border and peace process. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly is Professor in Public Administration and Jean Monnet Chair in Innovative Governance at the University of Victoria and the lead for the SSHRC Borders in Globalisation Partnership Grant as well as the Jean Monnet Network Borders and Migration. Oliver Schmidtke is a Professor in Political Science and History, the director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria and the Lead for the Jean Monnet Projects Canada Europe Dialogue on Migration and Canada-Europe Dialogue on Democracy.

*** Hosted since 2005 at the University of Victoria, the project focuses on stimulating exchange on EU-Canada topics. With the support of the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet project of the European Union “Communication and Media Strategies for EU experts in Canada” and the Centre for Global Studies, the webinar series brings together experts in Canada with various stake holders (students, practitioners, media representatives) to engage with ideas on critical issues of politics and policy making in Canada and Europe.




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