The Charlemagne Institute for European Studies organised a talk on Brexit to celebrate Europe Day

11/05/17
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On the occasion of the celebration of Europe Day, the Charlemagne Institute for European Studies organised a round table entitled: “Brexit: The beginning of the end of the European Union?”, which brought together three experts in law and international economy to talk about the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. 

The Charlemagne Institute for European Studies organised a talk on Brexit to celebrate Europe Day

The event was held in the Aula Magna, and more than a hundred professors and students were in attendance.  Araceli Mangas Martín, a lawyer and full professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, talked about the process for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.  “Leaving the European Union is an act that is fully legal, it is a right that any member-state has.”  Mangas also explained that since the UK entered the EU, the threat to leave has been constant.  The lawyer also talked about the immediate consequences of this departure: what will happen to the processes that have already begun that this member-state is involved in. “They will continue to hold the obligations they contracted with the European Union, until 29 March 2018”. 

On the other hand, Carlos Carlos Cavallé, general emeritus director of IESE Business School and president of the Social Trends Institute, talked about the economic and social side of the departure of the United Kingdom. Cavallé started his speech by stating that he has “always been enthusiastic about the European Union”.  The speaker stated that the EU is the best project Europe has had since the times of Charlemagne.  “The European Union has been a great project because Europe has never had such a long period of peace in its history.  Now, after a 60-year union, this project is in a little danger. “ 

Cavallé also talked about some of the positive consequences the EU has had for its member-states: “Inequalities have decreased and it has prospered economically”. Finally, he reminded us that one of the most significant causes of this decision about Brexit is policies inside the United Kingdom itself. 

Along these lines Milagros Álvarez Verdugo, a tenured professor of Public International Law and International Relations at the University of Barcelona also gave a talk.  Álvarez Verdugo also agreed that the political causes of the United Kingdom’s departure were significant.  The speaker also discussed the issue of security.  Álvarez Verdugo stated that in terms of defence, the United Kingdom has undertaken certain processes within the European Union and in the case of others has simply provided full support.  In reference to the future he insisted that “we are facing a new opportunity to revive the old Germany-France alliance”. 

At the end of the event Araceli Mangas Martín took the floor once again, and talked about the case of Gibraltar.  The professor said: “A conquest is impossible, but we will have to renegotiate the nature of the relationship”.