BiE working meeting

February 11, 2020

With Brexit a certainty and UK politics rapidly taking a dangerous populist path, Britain in Europe is re-evaluating its objective and renewing its mission, with a focus on pursuing a continuing collaboration with the EU and Europe more generally. 

In addition to an opportunity to exchange views about the way forward, we'll hear Prof Conor Gearty reflect on the Conservative government's threats to take powers away from the Supreme Court and "update" the HRA and former MEP (Labour), Julie Ward, consider the impact of the loss of UK influence in Brussels.


Dr Michaela Benson, research leader for the project BrExpats (freedom of movement, citizenship and Brexit in the lives of Britons resident in the European Union), will also be discussing the significant impact that Brexit has already had on British citizens in the EU, and the many challenges they're expected to face after the UK's withdrawal from the EU. This will equally allow us to engage with the question of what it will mean tobe an EU citizen living in post-Brexit Britain in the near future.

Other confirmed participants include Dr Simon Griffiths and Prof Carl Levy (Goldsmiths, department of Politics and IR), Prof Julian Petley (Brunel) and Eleanor Hourigan, legal counsel at the Joint Committee on Human Rights in Parliament.

BiE's director, Prof Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, is co-ordinating the meeting.

The working meeting is taking place at Goldsmiths, University of London: Deptford Town Hall, room 110, 12.00-14.00.


Hillingdon Literary Festival: Brexit: Truth and Lies (Friday, 6 October, Antonin Artaud building, Brunel University London)

October 05, 2017

A panel of experts discuss truth and lies – from all sides – in the narratives of the EU Referendum and its aftermath. Featuring BiE members Justin Fisher, Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Alexandra Xanthaki, as well as William Watkin, and chaired by Akram Khan this debate will be a rousing realisation of ways we can safeguard human rights and ward against fake news in the debate on Brexit.

This event will officially launch  the Hillingdon Literary Festival, now in the third year of its life at Brunel University London, offering a lively and entirely free weekend of literary performances, readings, debates, and signings from bestselling and globally renowned authors.

European Human Rights screening: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies

May 30, 2017

Based on the arrest and trial-by-newspaper of retired Bristol schoolteacher Christopher Jefferies after his tenant was found murdered, this is an almost Kafka-esque story of abuse of power by both the police and the very institution supposed to protect people from such treatment – namely the press.


The film will be introduced by Christopher Jefferies himself, and followed by an opportunity to discuss the European human rights issues raised by the film with its subject, the producer, director, Brian Cathcart from Hacked Off and Julian Petley from the Knowing our Rights project at Brunel University London.

Refugee Rights in Europe: current weaknesses, possible solutions and ways forward (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies)

May 18, 2017

On Friday 19th of May, BiE will be returning to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies for a brainstorming workshop focusing on Refugee Rights in Europe: current weaknesses, possible ways forward. It will be convened by Brunel’s Professor Alexandra Xanthaki and also Professor Panos Koutrakos (City University of London).


See the full afternoon’s programme HERE. Places are limited!

Britain in Europe is launching the 'Knowing Our Rights' project on Tuesday 14th March at 4.30 - 6.30pm with a keynote by the new Director of 'Liberty', Martha Spurrier.

Martha's talk will shed light on the risks that Brexit presents for the protection of fundamental human rights in our country. Upon taking office at one of the most prominent human rights organisations in the UK, Martha is quoted as saying that 'human rights will be the fight of our generation'. She has since made halting the repeal of the Human Rights Act, and protecting the European Convention on Human Rights, her top priority, and she is leading on 'Liberty' work around immigration detention, hate crime and hostile environmental policies. Her talk at Brunel will expand upon all these critical human rights issues.

The ‘Knowing Our Rights’ research project aims to increase and deepen knowledge of the operation of the European Convention of Human Rights in the UK, ensuring, in particular, that the British public obtains a balanced, research-based view of key rights in the Convention. The project is funded by the Open Society Initiative for Europe and the Open Society Foundations.




Refreshments and Networking


Welcome and launch of 'Knowing our Rights' project
Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos
Prof Julian Petley



Screening of 'Knowing our Rights' video 


Keynote: Martha Spurrier


Q & A



The 'Knowing our Rights' project at Brunel University London (in collaboration with the 'Britain in Europe' think tank) invites you to a roundtable event on Human Rights after Brexit. Participants will explore the ramifications of the UK's exit from the EU for the protection of the human rights of UK citizens and EU citizens residing in the UK, and the impact of Brexit, more generally, on the future of human rights in Europe. 


The event will bring into sharp focus the effects of the UK's departure from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and will place new emphasis on questions relating to the future of the European Convention on Human Rights after Brexit.

The roundtable discussion will be co-ordinated by the leading legal commentator in the country, Joshua Rozenberg

The keynote presentation will be given by Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, an eminent authority on European Union law and Human Rights. Professor Douglas-Scott is the Anniversary Chair in Law at QMU, and formely Professor of European and Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and King's College London.


Alexander Horne, deputy legal adviser at the Joint Committee on Human Rights, will be introducing the Committee’s recent report on the human rights implications of Brexit, reflecting on recent developments in Parliament and the JCHR amendment which aims to safeguard the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos (BiE Director and Brunel Law School) will be speaking about the key aims of the ‘Knowing our Rights’ project, drawing the links between Brexit and the debate on the UK Bill of Rights.

Confirmed participants include:
Mary Honeyball MEP
Dr Ed Bates (Leicester Law School)
Dr Gerard Conway (Brunel Law School)
Dr Natasa Mavronicola (Birmingham Law School)
Libby McVeigh (Fair Trials International)
John van der Luit-Drummond (Deputy Editor, Solicitors Journal)
Professor Julian Petley (Journalism, Brunel University London)
Professor Javaid Rehman (Brunel Law School)
Professor Tim Wilson (Northumbria Law School)
Professor Alexandra Xanthaki (Brunel Law School)

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC

Join Sixth Form students from St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College, Ruislip High School, Ravensbourne School, Upton Court Grammar School, Uxbridge College and Ousedale School, which will debate three key contemporary topics currently concerning society:

- European Countries should Take a Lead from France and Ban the Burqa
- No Prisoner Should Have the Vote
- We Should Not Expect Our Online Activities to Remain Private

Students will be judged by a prestigious panel of academics from Brunel University London and the Britain in Europe think tank, Cambridge University and Queen Mary University of London, as well as business experts and experts at the Institute of Ideas.



As a member of the audience, you will have the opportunity to pose questions to the participants in each stage of the competition, and will play a key role in deciding the winning teams.



There will be a prize for the best, most active, intervention from the audience.



POSTPONED - What lies ahead with Brexit? A view from the House of Commons, with Anna Soubry MP

January 25, 2017

We regret to inform everyone who had registered with this event that Ms Soubry must be at the House of Commons for urgent parliamentary business on Wednesday, in relation to the article 50 Supreme Court judgment. We look forward to rescheduling this event in due course.

Ms Soubry is playing a leading role in Brexit developments in Parliament at
the moment, working - with a number of other Conservative backbenchers -
to ensure that Theresa May publishes the Government’s plan for Brexit before triggering Article 50. She has also repeatedly called upon the Government to put UK membership of the Single Market at the heart of their negotiating strategy.

This important public debate is scheduled to coincide with the decision of the UK Supreme Court
in the Brexit challenge case, which could have very significant ramifications for Parliament’s role in the triggering of Article 50. Ms Soubry will provide a view of these developments from the House of Commons as the country is fast approaching the historic crossroads of the March 2017 deadline for initiating the Article 50 process. 

Immigration after Brexit? What lies ahead...

4 – 6pm Thursday 8th December 2016

Eastern Gateway Auditorium
Brunel University London
Kingston Lane


Jonathan Portes
National Institute of Economic & Social Research


Followed by a student panel discussion and Q&A, including analysis by Professor Abimbola Olowofoyeku and BiE experts on the article 50 case.

Jonathan Portes, one of the most prolific commentators on immigration issues in the country right now, will provide analysis of the government's approach to immigration issues after Brexit, and the socio-economic challenges facing the UK depending on the policy choices made.

Portes is a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Rgesearch; and Senior Fellow, ESRC Britain in a Changing Europe. Previously, he was Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office, where he advised the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, and Number 10 Downing Street on economic and financial issues. Before that he held a number of other senior economic policy posts in the UK government. 

Jonathan's particular interests include immigration, labour markets, and poverty. Mr Portes began his civil service career in HM Treasury in 1987. He writes regularly for the national and international press and is on twitter at @jdportes.  

The debate will be followed by networking over light refreshments.

For further information contact


BiE launch of policy report on "Brexit: Opportunities, Challenges and the Road Ahead" (by invitation only)

January 01, 2020

British Academy (October 25, 13:00-16:00). Roundtable discussion with keynote presentations by Dominic Grieve MP QC and Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, Panos Koutrakos

Book launch for Conor Gearty's 'On Fantasy Island: Britain, Europe, and Human Rights'

January 01, 2020

Britain in Europe invites you to a book launch for Prof Conor Gearty's (LSE) 'On Fantasy Island: Britain, Europe and Human Rights'.

Britain in Europe? What Lies Ahead (13 October 2016, Brunel University, Eastern Gateway Auditorium, 10:00-13:15

February 23, 2023

Now that the British people have voted to leave Europe after nearly 40 years union, what really lies ahead immediately for the United Kingdom - and the future?

Join us for a timely and lively debate led by a panel of prominent academics from the 'Britain in Europe' Think Tank and key business and educational leaders who will address the fundemental challenges now facing the UK today.

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