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In the wake of the UK’s Brexit vote, and the centrality of EU free movement, especially free movement of persons, to the vote to leave, this roundtable brought together experts to consider ‘what next?’ for free movement of persons between the UK and the EU. A wide variety of different models of cooperation were explored, including the European Economic Area, EU association agreements, the World Trade Organisation, the ASEAN Free Trade Area, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. The position under the (now rejected) re-negotiation agreement between the EU and UK of earlier this year was also be considered, in light of the origins of free movement of persons within the UK, as they were envisaged in the Spaak Report of 1956.

Alongside an aim to exchange and increase knowledge between roundtable participants, this event led to the creation of a series of short videos, which we hope will inform broader public debate about alternatives to EU free movement.


12.30-13.00: Lunch

Event chair: Anand Menon, Director of UK in a Changing Europe


Introductions and panel 1 – EU, EEA and association agreement (15 minutes per speaker)

  • Catherine Barnard (Brussels and Spaak) (Powerpoint)
  • Charlotte O’Brien (Benefits) (Powerpoint)
  • Philipp Speitler (EEA and EFTA)
  • Steve Peers (EU association agreements)

14.15-14.30: Tea and coffee

14.30-15.30: Panel 2 – WTO, ASEAN, Mercosur and NAFTA (15 minutes per speaker)

  • Lorand Bartels (WTO)
  • Damian Chalmers (ASEAN and Mercosur)
  • Adano Addis and Steve Griffin (NAFTA) (watch video)

15.30-16.00: Panel 3 - political and economic realism (7 minutes per speaker)

  • Anand Menon
  • Jonathan Portes

16.00-16.30: Closing discussion and summation – Konrad Schiemann