Expert voices must be heard during Brexit process
Published: 16 November 2016
Ahead of a high-level panel discussion at the University of Glasgow on Friday 18th November, the Principal of the University of Glasgow Professor Anton Muscatelli has made clear that the voice of experts must be heard in the ongoing Brexit debate.
Ahead of a high-level panel discussion at the University of Glasgow on Friday 18th November, the Principal of the University of Glasgow Professor Anton Muscatelli has made clear that the voice of experts must be heard in the ongoing Brexit debate – and cautioned against the trend for disregarding academic opinion in political rhetoric, in the aftermath of the U.S presidential election.
At an event held in partnership between The Conversation and Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow, Professor Muscatelli and a panel of European experts will discuss what lies next for the UK and Europe in the aftermath of the vote for Brexit.
The recent judgement of the High Court could see the triggering of Article 50 and the overall process of leaving the EU subject to parliamentary scrutiny at Westminster –an opportunity for parliamentarians and government to benefit from expert input from a range of fields.
Friday’s event will be chaired by former BBC and Reuters journalist Dr James Rodgers and the panel will consist of Professor Muscatelli, Executive Director of the European Institute at University College London Dr Uta Staiger, Director of the Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe, Dr Maria Fletcher and Principal of Edinburgh Napier University and Convener of Universities Scotland, Professor Andrea Nolan.
Commenting, the Principal said: “Much commentary in the aftermath of the U.S. election has focused on the perceived disregard for expert opinion which swept across American politics – and it is the duty of politicians at all levels on this side of the Atlantic to ensure that this does not become the established norm in Scottish, UK or European politics.
“Thus far, we have little insight into the strategy or even the overall goals of the UK Government in the Brexit process – but the recent ruling of the High Court should be seen as an opportunity for the UK Government, rather than a challenge to its authority.
“Not only does the process of parliamentary scrutiny have the potential to strengthen the UK Government’s eventual negotiating position – it should also provide the opportunity for experts in a range of fields to give their advice and the benefit of their expertise at all stages of the parliamentary process.
“Throughout the process of leaving the EU, the UK Government will be faced with a series of complex problems and competing demands – and it’s crucial that politicians have the greatest depth of expertise as possible to rely on.
“It is events like Friday’s bringing together a panel with such a wide-range of experience which highlight the breadth of Scottish and UK expertise on Europe – and which reaffirms the University of Glasgow’s position as the leading venue not just in Scotland but in the wider UK for the leading thinkers in their fields to give their views on what is the defining issue in UK politics today.”
UK Editor of the Conversation, Stephen Khan added: “We are thrilled that the first Conversation Live event is taking place at the University of Glasgow. At this time of great global change, we believe the knowledge that lies the heart of our Higher Education institutions is of great value to the general public.
“The Conversation exists to channel such expertise, to enrich debate and enhance understanding, thereby practically benefiting individuals and society as a whole. These are Enlightenment values and there can be no better place to engage with them than at this university.”
First published: 16 November 2016