Brexit and Europe migration: bringing legal expertise to public debate and UK policymaking

Brexit headlines (credit: Phil Shaw/Unsplash)

Through her research on European Union (EU) Law and specifically on EU migration, Catherine Barnard has played a key role in informing policymakers and the public on the legal aspects of Brexit before, during and since the 2016 Referendum.

Barnard provided legal input into a series of reports published by the Economic and Social Research Council funded initiative ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ and worked directly with MPs, policymakers, journalists and civil society organisations to inform Brexit debates.

Prior to the 2016 referendum, for example, Barnard was involved in numerous ‘town hall’ and ‘Question Time’ style events and took part in podcasts, vodcasts, blogs and a film to chart what the UK public wanted out of Brexit in respect of migration and to contribute to improved public understanding of Brexit-related issues.

She has briefed many UK politicians on the legal aspects of Brexit from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National parties. Barnard has also given evidence to the UK’s Brexit, Home Affairs and Treasury Select Committees, and briefed, among others, the Cabinet Office, the Foreign Office, the Home Office and the Department for International Trade, the EU’s Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Brexit team.

She has regularly appeared on the UK’s main broadcast media channels including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News.

MPs and policymakers alike attest to Barnard’s contribution and her expertise has been (and continues to be) much in demand on national radio and television in high-profile discussions throughout the Brexit process.

“…I just wanted to say how helpful I found your explanation of the Brexit options on the Emma Barnett programme this morning. I’m just the man on the Clapham Omnibus. So nice to have things explained, not simplistically, but clearly.”

– Listener to BBC Radio 5 Live