The politics department held a debate on Wednesday discussing Britain’s membership in the EU
Last Wednesday, the University of Birmingham’s Politics department held a roundtable, entitled ‘Way Out and Exit? Britain and the EU’, which focused on Britain’s membership of the European Union. Guests and home lecturers were invited to talk to talk at the event. The discussion focused on Britain’s membership in the EU, which has become a very controversial political topic in the last several years. The topics discussed were largely to do with the Conservative Party and their relationship with the EU, the Labour Party’s position on the EU and current EU issues in general. Following this, there was an hour long Q&A session where students and guests could ask the panel questions.
Professor Tim Bale, guest lecturer from Queen Mary, University of London, spoke about the Conservatives. Professor Bale is most famous for his work ‘The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron’. He began with an outline of the European project and Conservative reaction to it, and ended by talking about David Cameron and the Conservative outlook toward the EU now.
University of Birmingham lecturer Dr. Isabelle Hertner then spoke about the Labour Party and the EU. She focused on Ed Miliband’s position toward Europe, and his recent speech regarding the matter.
This moved swiftly on to University of Birmingham Professor Tim Haughton and University of Aston, Dr. Nathanial Copsey discussing the controversies surrounding the EU. Issues spoken about included the ‘Clegg vs. Farage’ TV debate in April 2014, the rise of UKIP and the Conservative’s 2017 ‘in/out’ referendum pledge.
Questions were asked five at a time, with each panellist answering each question in turn, largely about the Conservative position on the European Union past, present and future.
Overall, the discussion lasted an hour and a half and feedback from students deemed that it was ‘extremely informative’.