In 2019 the AEJ UK moved its lunchtime meetings from Europe House, London home of the EU Commission and European Parliament and host for AEJ UK gatherings for many years. Brexit had complicated the EU’s diplomatic and political situation in London. Regent’s University kindly became our host.
20 November 2019
Lord Peter Ricketts – The future after Brexit
Britain’s role in the world will require a new national strategy if Brexit happens – and that needs a lot more attention says one of Britain’s top diplomats.
Lord Peter Ricketts, former UK National Security Adviser and head of the diplomatic service, told an AEJ lunch on November 20th 2019 that’s just one of the multiple challenges facing the UK in a post Brexit world.
For more on his presentation please see this report from former FT correspondent Peter Norman and this audio record.
23 October 2019
Lord David Willetts – Will Brexit cause more civil unrest?
That’s one of the questions posed to – and by – Lord David Willetts, a prominent Conservative Party thinker, former minister, and until recently Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation, an independent think tank focused on improving living standards for people on low to middle incomes.
“Very polarised and volatile” is how the current mood in England was described by the Archbishop of Canterbury – and he advised prime minister Boris Johnson and other politicians to stop stoking hate and using inflammatory language. At an AEJ UK meeting on October 23 Lord Willetts tried to bring some clearer perspective to the social, economic and political issues increasingly polarised by Brexit.
For more on the former Universities and Science Minister’s in-depth analysis please see this report from ex-FT correspondent Peter Norman and this audio record of the meeting.
September 2019 the view from Scotland – an AEJ visit to Holyrood
Three members of the Scottish Parliament, three different parties, three differing perspectives on Brexit’s impact north of the border. All held with passion. But instead of generating the heat and hate demonstrated at Westminster those perspectives were articulated with thought and detailed analysis not strident words and personal attack.
The view from Scotland
24 September 2019
Catherine Barnard – State of play
Confused about Brexit? Less than two hours after the UK Supreme Court ruled that the government’s suspension of Parliament was illegal, one of the leading experts on European Union law, Catherine Barnard, gave an instant assessment of the landmark ruling and clarified some of the possible ways forward.
At the AEJ UK on September 24 the professor of European Union and Labour Law at Trinity College Cambridge and a senior fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe explained the consequences of a no-deal Brexit and the other possible courses of action by Boris Johnson’s government up to October 31st , as well as the massive task ahead to negotiate a long-term treaty between the UK and its major trading partners in Europe.
Please see here for a report on the meeting from AEJ member and ex FT correspondent Peter Norman, an audio record of the meeting.
25 June 2019
George Magnus – China – traps in the way of dominance?
China’s development faces four fundamental traps which could slow down or even derail the country’s widely assumed march towards global economic dominance – traps that few people outside the country recognise says economist George Magnus, author of “Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy”.
As China hit the headlines again with a crackdown on protests in Hong Kong and a surprise twist on Huawei in the trade war with the United States, it is these inter-related traps that form a potential block to China’s development Magnus told the AEJ UK on June 25. Best known for anticipating the financial crisis of 2008, Magnus has been travelling to China since 1992 and laid out his four traps – debt, currency, ageing, and income.
Please see this full report on the meeting from AEJ member Chris Cragg and this audio record.
30 May 2019
Brunello Rosa – European populism is not “contained”
That at least is the view of Brunello Rosa, CEO of Rosa and Roubini Associates and an analyst of strategic country risks who closely monitors geopolitical trends and the economic performance of countries across Europe.
He told the AEJ UK on May 30 he strongly disagreed with the idea that”populists have been contained” as expressed by Martin Selmayr, secretary general of the European Commission, and other observers. He noted the gains by right-wing populist parties in May’s elections for the European Parliament and spelled out some of the impact they may have.
For more on his presentation please see this report from AEJ member Charles Jenkins and this audio record of the meeting as well as these reflections on populism and Brexit from AEJ member Tony Robinson, former FT correspondent in Rome and Moscow.
24 April 2019
Robert Hazell – Does the UK face a constitutional crisis?
Yes says constitutional expert Robert Hazell.
And it pits popular sovereignty against parliamentary sovereignty, and the four nations of the UK against each other. But this is a failure of the political system not the United Kingdom’s unwritten constitution the professor of government and the constitution at University College London and founder of its Constitution Unit told the AEJ UK on April 24. He says Brexit has triggered this crisis and its origins lie in the British political system, Westminster’s adversarial political culture, and serious failures of political leadership.
Please see this report on the meeting from former FT correspondent Peter Norman and here for an audio record of his presentation and following questions and answers
29 March 2019
Sir Ivan Rogers – Brexit causes crises
One of the UK’s key political insiders for the last 20 years and the man who represented the UK at the EU until January 2017 says Brexit has put the country into a political crisis – and potentially a constitutional and democratic crisis with unknown economic implications.
Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK Permanent Representative to the EU from November 2013, resigned shortly before Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to trigger Article 50 on March 29 of that year starting a two-year countdown to Brexit. Before serving at the EU Sir Ivan was principal private secretary to Tony Blair from 2003-06 and David Cameron’s main adviser for Europe and global Issues from 2012-2013. On the day previously designated as the deadline for Brexit Sir Ivan provided the AEJ UK with a uniquely qualified insider’s comprehensive and insightful analysis of how we got here and what might be ahead.
Please listen here for an audio record of his remarks and following questions and answers. Earlier the same day Sir Ivan participated in a similar panel discussion at Chatham House which can be viewed here.
26 February 2019
Bill Browder – Vladimir Putin’s “Number 1 Enemy”
Bill Browder characteristically starts his presentation with an escapade in Spain in May 2018 when he was arrested on an Interpol warrant requested by Russia. It was another chapter in the story of a man proud to call himself Putin’s number one enemy.
At a crowded AEJ meeting of UK-based journalists on February 26 2019 he described his personal journey from American capitalist making a huge fortune in post-Soviet Russia to campaigner exposing corruption and abuse – a story that ironically goes back to his grandfather who led the Communist Party in the USA in the 1940s. Browder is CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was thrown out of Russia in 2005, and is the man behind the Magnitsky Act – named after his now dead Russian lawyer – which is aimed at rooting out money laundering and bans gross abusers of human rights from visiting or holding assets in the USA. Given the number of accusations that Browder throws out it might seem surprising that he’s still alive and fighting but he says keeping a high public profile is probably what keeps him alive.
For more on this meeting please see this report from AEJ UK chairman William Horsley and this audio record of his presentation and following question and answer exchange.