Parliamentary Triangle Seminar Series

Panel Discussion on Brexit and the future of EU-UK-Australian relations

Tue 26 February 2019Professor Charles Lees, Dr Benjamin Leruth, Professor Philomena Murray and Professor Richard Whitman / 5.30pm for a 6.00pm startMembers' Dining Room 2, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

When: Tuesday 26 February 2019
Where: Members' Dining Room 2, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
Time: 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start
Cost: FREE, Drinks and Canapes will be provided

RSVP: Please click here to register


The United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on 29 March this year. Over the past couple of years, negotiations held between the UK and the EU have created major uncertainties over the impact of Brexit for both parties and the global role of the United Kingdom in a post-Brexit era. Furthermore, as the European Union and Australia have launched negotiations for an ambitious Free Trade Agreement, Brexit will have an impact on the relations between Australia and the United Kingdom.

This panel discussion brings together a group of senior academics and commentators who will reflect on the impact of Brexit on the future relations between the UK, the EU and Australia. They will also reflect on the current state of play in London, as Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to secure a withdrawal agreement that would satisfy most members of the House of Commons. Finally, in light of the crucial European Parliament elections which will be held in May this year, the panellists will discuss the rise of Euroscepticism and its impact on the European integration project.

The Panel

Charles Lees is Dean (People and Resources) in the College of Business, Government, and Law at Flinders University, Australia. Prior to this he worked at the University of Bath, University of Sheffield, and the University of Sussex. He writes on comparative party systems, coalition government, environmental politics and policy, and has contributed to debates on the methodology of single-country studies. He has provided research and advice for the Centre for American Progress, Australian Labor Party, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, the UK House of Lords and the Scottish Executive, amongst others. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Bath and the University of Sussex and holds or has held visiting fellowships at the University of California San Diego, the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, Cardiff University, and the University of Birmingham.

Benjamin Leruth is an Assistant Professor in Public Administration specializing in comparative public policy and European politics. He is also the Director of the Master of Public Administration program. Prior to joining the Institute for Governance & Policy Analysis, he worked as a Research Associate at the University of Kent and as a Teaching Fellow in French and European Politics at the University of Bath. He also held a visiting fellowship at the ARENA Centre for European Studies (University of Oslo). He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Edinburgh, a LL.M. in European Law from the University of Kent and a BA in Political Science from the University of Namur.

Benjamin’s research interests include attitudes towards the future of the welfare state in Australia and Europe, differentiated (dis)integration in the European Union, comparative European politics and Euroscepticism.

Philomena Murray is Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She holds Australia’s only Personal Jean Monnet Chair (ad personam) awarded by the European Union. She received a national Carrick (Australian Learning and Teaching Council) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for pioneering the first European Union curriculum in Australia and leadership in national and international curriculum development. She is Visiting Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin; Visiting Professor in the College of Europe, Bruges and Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University – Comparative Regional Integration Studies, Bruges.

She has been awarded multipe EU-funded Jean Monnet and other research grants. Her research interests are in EU-Australia relations; Brexit; comparative regional integration; EU-Asia relations; comparative refugee externalisation policies and EU governance and legitimacy.

Professor Richard G Whitman is an associate fellow of the Europe Programme. He is also currently director of the Global Europe Centre and professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent.

Previously, he was visiting senior fellow (2015-16), senior fellow (2006-07) and head of the Europe Programme at Chatham House (2004-06). He is an academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the Executive of the British International Studies Association (BISA).

His current research interests include the external relations and foreign and security and defence policies of the EU, and the governance and future priorities of the EU.

The Facilitator 

Professor Gerry Stoker is Professor of Politics and Governance at the University of Southampton, UK and has recently joined IGPA as a Centenary Professor. He held previous professorial posts at Manchester and Strathclyde. Professor Stoker’s main research interests are in governance, democratic politics, local and regional governance, urban politics, public participation and public service reform. He has authored or edited over 20 books and published over 70 refereed articles or chapters in books. Professor Stoker was the founding Chair of the New Local Government Network which won the UK think tank of the year in 2004 and his most recent book ‘Why Politics Matters’ won the 2006 political book of the year award from the Political Studies Association of the UK. Professor Stoker has provided advice to various parts of the UK government and is also an expert advisor to the Council of Europe on local government and participation issues. In 2004, he won the Political Studies Association Award for ‘making a difference’ in recognition of the impact of his work on governance issues.


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