Mile End Institute

The Great Sovereignty Debate

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6 June 2016

Time: 2:30pm
Venue: The Octagon, Mile End Campus, Queen Mary University of London E1 4NS

The ambition to regain sovereignty is often cited as a key, motivating factor by those leading the campaign for the UK to leave the EU.  

Those in favour of staying in often argue that the UK is more likely to have clout as a sovereign power within the EU.  

In a half-day conference, funded by the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, we examined what we understand by sovereignty, what public attitudes towards the issue are and discussed different approaches to Britain's place in the world.

As part of the debate, academics at Queen Mary University of London have been reflecting on what sovereignty means in different contexts.  Watch their videos here.


Self-government for the UK – inside Europe or the world?

Chair: Helen McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in History, QMUL

John Redwood, MP for Wokingham

Sir Stephen Wall, Former British Ambassador to the European Union

John Charmley, Professor of Modern History, University of East Anglia

James Ellison, Reader in International History, QMUL

Read a summary of the discussion.

What is sovereignty?

Chair: Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Anniversary Chair in Law, QMUL

Marina Wheeler QC, One Crown Office Row

Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

David Willetts, Executive Chair, The Resolution Foundation

Robert Saunders, Lecturer in Modern British History, QMUL

Read a summary of the discussion.

Sovereignty: The public view

Chair: Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, QMUL

Sir Robert Worcester, Visiting Professor KCL & LSE, Founder, MORI

Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics, QMUL

Jane Green, Professor of Political Science, Manchester University

Read a summary of the discussion.