‘Brexit: Expectations and Reality’

This meeting was held on 26 January 2021

Oxford for Europe virtual meeting with Tony Connelly and Jonathan Lis

Jointly hosted by Oxford for Europe and Grassroots For Europe

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This meeting presented an opportunity to reflect on what has happened to our country and to consider how we should respond.

On 1st January the UK left the transition period. We were informed that the UK would ‘prosper mightily’ Is this happening? Are the scales starting to fall from the eyes of those who voted Brexit? Is this the time to reconcile ourselves to the reality of Brexit? Or is it the time to hold those responsible to account?

Both of our speakers are eminent and highly respected commentators on Brexit. We had a lively discussion.

Tony Connelly

Tony Connelly is Europe Editor for RTÉ, Ireland’s public broadcaster.

Tony has reported extensively on the period before and after the Brexit referendum, and before that covered the European refugee crisis, the Greek debt situation, the Irish bail-out and the financial crisis dating back to 2008.

Tony has also reported on conflicts in Ukraine, Lebanon/Syria, Georgia, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Angola and Rwanda.

He is the recipient of two ESB National Media awards, a European Journalism Award and a New York Festivals radio award for his radio documentary on the Shaktar Donetsk football club in Ukraine.

In December 2018 he received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the UCD Smurfit Graduate School journalism awards.

In May 2019 he received a Law Society Justice Media Award for his coverage of the Brexit negotiations.

Tony has been called on three occasions as an expert witness to the House of Commons Committee for Exiting the European Union.

As well as RTE, Tony has worked for the Irish Independent, Time Magazine and United Press International (UPI).

He has contributed OpEds on Brexit  to the Financial Times and New Statesman. .

Tony is the author of the best-selling Brexit and Ireland: the Dangers, the Opportunities and the Inside Story of the Irish Response, published by Penguin Books in the autumn of 2017.

The book was shortlisted for the Irish non-fiction book of the year award in 2018.

Don’t Mention the Wars: A Journey Through European Stereotypes, was published in 2014 by New Island.

Tony Connelly was born in Portstewart, County Derry in 1964, and was educated at St Columbs College, Derry, at Trinity College Dublin and the London School of Journalism.

He is married with three sons and lives in Brussels.

Website: https://www.rte.ie/author/822154-tony-connelly/

On Twitter: @tconnellyRTE

Tony Connelly

Jonathan Lis

Jonathan is a political commentator and is Deputy Director at British Influence

Jonathan read English at the University of Cambridge and then completed a Masters degree in social sciences at the London School of Economics. After a period of teaching – and training to be an actor – he went to work for an MEP at the European Parliament in 2012, focusing on foreign affairs and human rights. His particular areas of focus were EU enlargement, engagement with the Balkans and post-conflict resolution, and the Western Sahara. He then worked at the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organisation, where he advocated for, among others, anti-slavery activists in Mauritania, the Uyghurs, and the people of Abkhazia.

In 2015 he returned to Britain and began working on the campaign to remain in the EU, writing a report on Brexit and the Commonwealth. After the referendum, he became Deputy Director of the think tank and campaign group British Influence, working for a soft Brexit, then a referendum, and now the closest possible engagement with the EU.

He has published over 200 comment pieces for, among others, the Guardian, Prospect and Washington Post, and regularly appears as a political commentator on broadcasters including the BBC, Sky, Al Jazeera and LBC.

Some recent publications:
https://www.theguardian.com/profile/jonathan-lis https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/author/lislislis

On Twitter: @jonlis1

Jonathan Lis

Chair: Anne Copley

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