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A conversation with Hilary Benn MP

October 8 @ 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

A pair of scissors separating two pieces of fabric whcih are tearing apart - one is the British union flag, the other is the European Union flag

In the last few weeks of the UK/EU trade negotiations – the UK having already left the EU – join Policy Scotland’s Deputy Director Des McNulty in conversation with senior Labour MP Hilary Benn to discuss Brexit and what it means for Britain’s future

Head and shoulder photo of Hilary Benn

Image credit: Richard Townshend | CC BY 3.

As Chair of the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union in the House of Commons for the past four years, Hilary Benn is a central figure in the Parliamentary Brexit battles. The ‘Benn Act’ forced the UK Government to extend the negotiations to avoid a ‘no deal’ exit. But is ‘no deal’ now back on the table?   

The implications of Brexit for the UK economy will be a key topic in this discussion, as will the potential ramifications of Brexit for the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK.  

As well as a new relationship with Europe, Brexit also means a re-configuring of Britain’s place in the world. As a former Secretary of State for International Development and former shadow Foreign Secretary how does Hilary Benn see Brexit impacting on the UK’s international standing now and in the future? What are the implications of the UK government’s recent decision to get shut down the International Development Department and place the brief within the Foreign Office? Will money be diverted from supporting development projects in the poorest countries in the world and is the bi-partisan commitments to 0.7% of GDP being spent on International Development under threat? What about international commitments to co-operate to tackle the greatest global threat we face – climate change?  

And finally, how will Britain fare in a world still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and learning to live with its long-term consequences? Are the tensions between the UK and Scottish Governments over the handling of Covid a matter of governments with different political priorities failing to co-operate or do they represent a more serious rift that threatens the Union? 

See the event recording on YouTube


October 8
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
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