Brexit Expertise

Group of Queen's academic experts at a Brexit related event

Providing an Authoritative Voice

As the Brexit process continues, there has never been a greater need for expert, impartial commentary and insight into the European Union, as well as the policy considerations for the UK as it relinquishes its EU membership.

Academics from Queen’s have many years’ experience of researching European integration and its impact on such policy areas as: agriculture and rural development; border issues; the Brexit process and constitutional issues; competition policy; economic and social affairs; employment and social affairs; environmental affairs, health; human rights and legal affairs.

We would welcome further engagement from policymakers, NGOs, the business community, the media and anyone with an interest in the Brexit process.

Dr Katy Hayward from the George J. Mitchell Institue

Dr Katy Hayward

Reader in Sociology, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Areas of research excellence:

  • Impact of EU membership on Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Impact of the EU on cross-border relations and the NI peace process
  • Border security/cooperation and scenarios for post-Brexit border management
  • Technologies of border security and customs controls

Katy is one of the leading political sociologists on the island of Ireland; her expertise centres on European integration, cross-border cooperation and conflict transformation on the island of Ireland.

Her recent research has included studies on the role of technology in border management, on the private sector in Ireland’s cross-border peace process, on scenarios for post-Brexit customs controls, and on the impact of Brexit in the Irish border region.

You can contact Katy at or telephone +44 (0)7722 293 115 or via twitter @hayward_katy
Read more about Katy's research
Professor David Phinnemore

Professor David Phinnemore

Professor of European Politics, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Areas of research excellence:

  • Article 50 negotiation process
  • Negotiation position of the EU-27 and the EU institutions
  • Implications and position of Northern Ireland/island of Ireland in the Brexit process
  • UK government policy development

As a Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Science, David’s research interests include the politics and processes of the EU in relation to withdrawal, enlargement, association agreements and treaty reform.

He also has extensive knowledge and understanding of the EU position on UK withdrawal, the issues facing Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland, and the options for delivering on ‘flexible and imaginative solutions’ to address the unique challenges that Brexit poses for Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.

David has had extensive interactions with government and EU officials through interviews and briefings, roundtable discussions, closed seminars, the submission of written and oral evidence to committees and briefings for a range of elected representatives. He has also contributed widely to national and international press, TV and radio.

You can contact David at or telephone +44 (0)28 9097 3538.
Read more about David's research
Professor Dagmar Schiek

Professor Dagmar Schiek

Professor of Law, School of Law

Areas of research excellence:

  • EU economic and social law including free movement, monetary union and social policy
  • Socio-legal aspects of Brexit
  • Perspectives for the island of Ireland
  • Employment and equality law in Northern Ireland post-Brexit

As a Jean Monnet ad personam Chair in EU Law and Policy and the only Professor of European Union law in Northern Ireland, Dagmar has extensive experience in engaging with the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

She is particularly interested in the all-island perspective and how the contribution of European Legal Integration to the Irish peace process can be maintained. Dagmar’s research looks at the EU from socio-legal perspectives, and she is also an international expert on equality law and policy, with a focus on intersectional inequalities.

Dagmar also convenes the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence Tensions at the Fringes of the European Union (TREUP) - an interdisciplinary European Studies project, comprising four research clusters and based at Queen’s. 

Dagmar has given oral and written evidence to the House of Common’s Northern Ireland Select Committee, the House of Lords Committee on Brexit, as well as the EU Committee of the German Parliamentary Labour Party.  She has extensive experience in engaging with print media, Radio and Television, in both English and German, including the BBC and Le Monde.

You can contact Dagmar at or telephone 44 (0)28 9097 3400 or +44 (0)7513 202101.
Read more about Dagmar's research
Professor Lee Magowan

Professor Lee McGowan

Professor of Contemporary European Politics, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Areas of research excellence:

  • Institutions and policy making in the EU
  • Northern Ireland as a region of the EU
  • European integration history and theory
  • Political populism and the rise of the far right in Europe
  • Antitrust/competition policy

As a Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration, Lee has more than 25 years’ experience teaching and researching on the politics of the EU, as well as engaging in high level, in-depth discussions about the EU and how it works, with specific reference to Northern Ireland.

Lee has given oral and written evidence to the Northern Ireland Select Committee at Westminster, to House of Lords’ Inquiries on Northern Ireland and the EU, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

You can contact Lee at or telephone +44 (0)28 9097 1089.
Read more about Lee's research
Professor Colin Harvey

Professor Colin Harvey

Professor of Human Rights Law, School of Law

Areas of research excellence:

  • Human rights
  • Equality law
  • Constitutional law
  • Migration and Asylum

Colin is a former Head of Law School as well as a former Director of the Human Rights Centre at Queen’s University and has served as a Commissioner on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Colin is a former Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law at the University of Leeds and has held visiting positions at the University of Michigan, Fordham University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Colin has written and taught extensively on human rights law and policy and has contributed to parliamentary committee inquiries and written extensively for national and international media. Colin is currently leading on a Brexit-related research project examining the constitutional, conflict transformation, human rights and equality consequences of Brexit.

The project focuses on: the Northern Ireland peace process; North-South relations; border controls and free movement in and between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain; xenophobia and racism in Northern Ireland; the impact on socio-economic rights; and wider human rights and equality issues.

You can contact Colin at or telephone +44 (0)28 9097 1004 or +44 (0)7740 701 267
Read more about Colin's research
Professor Christopher McCrudden from the school of Law

Professor Christopher McCrudden

Professor of Human Rights and Equality Law, School of Law

Areas of research excellence:

  • European Union Law
  • Human rights in Northern Ireland
  • European Economic Area

Chris McCrudden is also a William W Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan Law School and until 2011, he was Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. 

Chris has worked on several different aspects of Brexit, in particular, the impact of Brexit on Ireland (North and South), the effect on the protection of human rights, and the difficulties that Brexit brings for the UK Constitution.

He has presented evidence on Brexit to the Irish Senate Committee, to a House of Lords Committee and has represented a group of Northern Ireland MLAs in the UK Supreme Court in a legal challenge to the Brexit process.

You can contact Chris at
Read more about Christopher's research
Dr Cathal McCall

Professor Cathal McCall

Professor of European Politics and Borders, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Areas of research excellence:

  • EU borders
  • Ireland’s and Britain’s borders
  • Cross-border cooperation and security

Cathal’s key research interests include bordering, debordering and rebordering on the island of Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, and the relationship between border reconfiguration and conflict transformation within and beyond the EU. Cathal has also written extensively on European borders, cross-border cooperation and peacebuilding.

Cathal has appeared before House of Commons Northern Ireland Select Committee Inquiries relating to Brexit, as well as the House of Lords European Committee Inquiry on Brexit and UK/RoI relations.

Cathal is also a regular contributor to TV, radio and print media, both nationally and internationally, commenting on the impact of Brexit in relation to Ireland.

You can contact Cathal at or telephone+44 (0)7718 079 692.
Read more about Cathal's research
Dr Viviane Gravey

Dr Viviane Gravey

Lecturer, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Areas of research excellence:

  • Environmental policy
  • Agricultural policy
  • New governance arrangements

Viviane’s Brexit-related research looks at how the EU has shaped UK policy and governance arrangements and investigates the challenges arising for public policy. These include the risks of regulatory gaps and divergence, the opportunity for more tailored policies and governance, the role of the devolved administrations and UK-wide frameworks post-Brexit - how they would be agreed and how would policies be enforced.

Viviane has submitted written evidence to a number of House of Commons/House of Lords Parliamentary Inquiries, given oral evidence to a House of Commons Inquiry and was cited in several House of Commons Environment Audit Committee reports and a House of Lords EU Environment and Energy Subcommittee report.

Viviane is also a member of the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Brexit Environment Stakeholder Group, as well as the Northern Ireland Environment Link Brexit Coalition Nature and Environment Protection Group.

You can contact Viviane at or telephone +44 (0)28 9097 1316.
Read more about Viviane's research

Dr Graham Brownlow

Dr Graham Brownlow

Lecturer, Queen’s Management School

Areas of research excellence:

  • Brexit and the political economy of Britain and Ireland
  • Long-run economic development of Northern Ireland
  • Productivity, supply-side reform and the UK economy
  • Economic policy issues such as fiscal decentralisation and migration

Graham’s research is in the area of economic history and institutional economics and he has been published in a wide range of outlets concerned with regional economics, applied economics and long-run economic performance.

As the final economic impact of Brexit will be a consequence of the historical and institutional model found in the UK, Graham’s research aims to explain why, for example, the large role of agri-business in the Northern Ireland economy will complicate Brexit economics and why productivity is so important to evaluating Brexit’s potential economic outcomes.

Graham has had a wide range of interactions with the UK and Irish government departments including giving evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel.

He has also extensive experience in engaging with national and international print media, TV and Radio and his research has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. 

You can contact Graham at or telephone 44 (0)28 9097 4589 or +44 (0)7842 798 819
Read more about Graham's research
Dr Mary Dobbs, Lecturer in the School of Law

Dr Mary Dobbs

Lecturer, School of Law

Areas of research excellence:

  • International, EU and national Environmental Law
  • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the EU including the precautionary principle
  • National identities and recognition of State functions

Mary has more than ten years’ experience of research in EU environmental law and has undertaken a British Academy project on the governance of GM crops in the EU. Mary has presented widely on environmental law and GMOs to a range of audiences and has had a number of articles published in leading journals such as the Common Market Law Review, as well as contributing several book chapters.

Mary has participated in roundtables focusing on environmental and agricultural challenges and opportunities of Brexit with various governmental/EU representatives and has advised the House of Lords Select Committee on national identity.

Mary is also a member of the European Environmental Law Forum.

You can contact Mary at or telephone 44 (0)28 9097 3578.
Read more about Mary's research

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Contact Us

To find out more about the Brexit-related research and expertise within our university, please visit our Brexit Expertise section and contact any of our academics. Alternatively, why not send an email to with your request.

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