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Brexit, Europe

Main takeaways from ‘In or out of Europe?’ Brexit debate

Tiziana Simonetti (ABC Economics) on the “In or out of a Europe? And which Europe?” seminar which took place on 24 November at King’s College University in London on the upcoming Referendum on the European Union and the Brexit scenarios. 

Organised by the Italian Society of King’s College London,the panel featured representatives from the UK political arena in addition to well-respected professionals from banking, diplomacy and journalism.

Mr. Celeste, a former Italian diplomat, introduced the event and moderated the panel by inviting subject matter experts to provide their views on a number of current affairs issues ranging from terrorism and immigration to economic crisis in Europe.

Mrs Sandys Conservative MP delivered a pro-European message making the case for ‘Britain to stay’ and focusing on reforming the EU and claiming that in the eventuality of a Brexit, the impact on SME would be limited as firms ‘would be able to relocate abroad’.

By contrast, Mr. Whittle, the UKIP candidate for Mayor, delivered an anti-EU speech by criticising foreign immigration into the UK (‘now becoming excessive and unsustainable’) and the progressive loss of sovereignty since joining the EU.

An incisive and realistic speech was delivered by Mrs Ivana Bartoletti, a Labour Candidate for London Assembly elections in 2016. She said to be in favour of a more cohesive and integrated Europe, highlighting the contributions made by foreigners towards the establishment of Britain as a leading and internationalised economy and acclaimed financial centre. She noted that only by working together Britain and Europe can fend off challenges arising from other economic blocs such as BRICS.

Mr. Munchau of the Financial Times observed that he does not believe Europe will reform itself ‘enough’ whilst Mr Siniscalco, a former Minister of Finance under a Berlusconi government in the early 2000s, said that retaining the ‘status quo would be unsustainable’ and that Europe ‘must consider reforming’.

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