Working with the EU: Britons and Brussels


This conference brings to a wider public the perspectives of UK nationals who have direct experience of working in or with the EU. UK politicians, civil servants, MEPs and others will discuss how their experience has affected their views of the UK and the EU, and how the UK can best achieve its interests. It brings the insights accumulated over six decades of those with working knowledge of the EU and UK-EU relations to the current debate.

Speakers will address three questions:

  • How influential is the UK within the EU?
  • How effective is the UK in pursuing its interests in the EU?
  • What is your assessment of what the UK can and cannot achieve inside the EU?

The conference will be of interest to politicians, civil servants, business, trade unions, NGOs, think tanks, the media, campaign groups, and other interested groups.

09:30  Arrival and coffee

10:00  Introduction: Hussein Kassim, UEA and Senior Fellow ‘UK in a Changing Europe’, and Piers Ludlow, London School of Economics

10:15  Panel 1: The UK and the EU: perspectives from the European Commission

  • Chair: Dr Katja Seidel, Lecturer in History, University of Westminster
  • Sir Andrew Cahn, former UK civil servant and member of the Cockfield and Kinnock cabinets
  • Mr Peter Pooley, former Director General, European Commission
  • Mr Robert Hull, former Director, European Commission
  • Mr Jonathan Scheele, former Head of Delegation, European Commission
  • Mr David White, is former Director, European Commission


  • Keynote speaker: Lord Howard of Lympne, Home Secretary 1993-97, Secretary of State for the Environment 1992-93, and Secretary of State for Employment 1990-92
  • Chair: Mr Mark Mardell, BBC Radio 4 presenter ‘The World This Weekend’ and former Europe editor

12:15  Panel 2: The UK and the EU: perspectives from the European Parliament

  • Chair: Dr Sara Hagemann, LSE
  • Ms Jean Lambert, Green Party’s MEP for London since 1999
  • Ms Carole Tongue FRSA, MEP for London East, 1984 – 1999 and Deputy Leader of the European
    Parliamentary Labour Party, 1989-91
  • Baroness Ludford, Member of the European Parliament for London from 1999-2014.
  • Dr Michael Shackleton, General Secretariat 1981-2011
  • Mr Francis Jacobs, General Secretariat 1979-2016

13.30 Lunch


  • Keynote: The Rt Hon Charles Clarke, Home Secretary 2004-06 and Secretary of State for Education 2002-04
  • Chair: Robert Nisbet, Europe Correspondent, Sky News

15:00  Tea and Coffee

15:15   Panel 3: Working with the EU

  • Chair: Dr Piers Ludlow, Reader in the Department of International History of the London School of Economics.
  • Lord Hannay of Chiswick, UK Permanent Representative to the EEC 1985-90 and UK Ambassador to the UN 1990-95
  • Sir Simon Fraser, Permanent Under-Secretary Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2010-15, and Permanent Under-Secretary, Business Innovation and Skills 2009-10
  • Mr Andy Lebrecht, former UK civil servant and UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU 2008-12

16:05   Panel 4:The UK and the EU: Perspectives from the Council, the Court and the Court of Auditors

  • Chair: Peter Foster, Europe Editor, Telegraph
  • Sir David Bostock, Deputy Permanent Representative 1995-98 and UK member of the European Court of Auditors 2002-2013
  • The Rt Hon Sir David Edward, Scottish lawyer and academic, and judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities 1992-2004
  • Sir Brian Crowe, UK diplomat and Director General for External Relations, Council of the European Union, 1994-2002


  • Keynote speaker: Mr Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP for the South East of England since 1999 and Secretary- General of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists.
  • Chair: Anand Menon

18:00  Drinks reception

Click here to register.

View all events

Subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter

Get a round-up of The UK in a Changing Europe’s latest analysis pieces, videos, explainers, podcasts, reports, events, infographics and more, written by the organisation’s director Anand Menon. PS his mum says it’s "quite good".

Sign up to our newsletter

View our latest newsletter