Panel of experts to discuss Brexit and the future of Ireland

The Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, both part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, will host “Brexit, Brinkmanship, and the Future of Ireland: The Role of the U.S. in Safeguarding the Northern Ireland Peace Process,” on Thursday (Oct. 24). The event will take place at the Keough School’s Washington Office.

Daniel Mulhall, ambassador of Ireland to the United States, and Andrew McCormick, Northern Ireland civil service director general for international relations, will provide the Irish perspective on Brexit. Ireland and Northern Ireland have enjoyed a seamless border since 1998. Should Brexit occur on Oct. 31 as the United Kingdom has pledged, the risk of a hard border returns, and with it renewed instability in Ireland.

David O’Sullivan, former European Union ambassador to the United States, said in a recent lecture at the Nanovic Institute, “Brexit is the worst thing that could have happened to Ireland from the point of view of Northern Ireland, because the entire success of the Good Friday agreement was predicated on joint membership in the European Union.”

Other panelists will discuss the United States’ historical role in facilitating peace in Northern Ireland, steps the U.S. might take to safeguard that legacy, and the challenges it may face in the process. Panelists include New York Congressman Peter King, co-chair of the Friends of Ireland Caucus; Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; and Amanda Sloat, a Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, will serve as the forum moderator.

This event is the inaugural Nanovic Washington Policy Forum, an opportunity for high-level dialogue among experts closely connected to contemporary global affairs issues. The forum will be held annually during the Nanovic Institute’s Seminar for Transnational European Studies in Washington, D.C.

“We are delighted to launch our new Nanovic Washington Policy Forum at the Keough School’s Washington Office,” said William Collins Donahue, director of the Nanovic Institute. “The experts we are convening for the inaugural forum hail from both sides of the Atlantic and demonstrate that Brexit is a European issue with far-reaching, global implications.”

Maura Policelli, executive director of the Keough School’s office in Washington, D.C., and associate professor of the practice, said, “Events such as the Nanovic Washington Policy Forum illustrate that the Keough School of Global Affairs is poised to offer lasting and meaningful contributions to the global policy arena. The inaugural forum comes at a pivotal time in global affairs, and we are honored to host this accomplished panel at our Washington Office.”

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The Nanovic Institute for European Studies is committed to creating an interdisciplinary home for students and faculty to explore the evolving ideas, cultures, beliefs, societies, and institutions that shape Europe today. The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies is dedicated to the study and understanding of Irish culture—in Ireland and around the world—in all of its manifestations.


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