St Mary’s Contributes to New House of Commons Brexit Report
Evidence submitted by St Mary’s University, Twickenham features prominently in a major new report released by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.
The report, entitled The Future of UK Diplomacy in Europe, examines how Britain will need to adapt its network of diplomatic relations with its European partners to meet the challenges of Brexit.
As well as looking at the United Kingdom’s role in EU foreign and defence policy, and its bilateral relationships with the remaining 27 members of the European Union, the report pays special attention to the UK’s relationship with Ireland.
This emphasis on Ireland was the focus of the submission from St Mary’s University, which drew together contributions from Dr Mary McAleese (President of Ireland, 1997–2011); Prof Sir Ivor Roberts (former UK Ambassador to Ireland, Italy and Yugoslavia); Prof Noel Fahey (former Irish Ambassador to the United States and the Holy See); and Prof Francis Campbell, St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor.
As the submission notes, "The relationship between the UK and Ireland will continue to be very close after Brexit. The personal ties alone between the two islands and the large number of citizens of each resident in the other jurisdiction make this inevitable. So do the ties of language, culture, geography and history. There are huge economic and trade interests in common. And there is the joint and continuing concern with the preservation of the peace process in Northern Ireland.”
However, as the report recognises, bilateral contacts will need to "be enhanced to compensate for reduced contact in Brussels.”
Commenting on the report Prof Francis Campbell said, “When we launched Vision 2025, we made a firm commitment to contribute to debate in the public sphere. I am delighted to see our academics making such a strong intervention on a live and engaging topic, which will affect millions of people in the UK and the EU.”