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Research Activity

Research excellence on Brexit

As an institution with three Jean Monnet Chairs, Queen’s has a long-standing history of research into European integration.

With the imminent departure of the UK from the European Union, this expertise is key to the work of several high-profile Brexit-related research projects led by, or involving Queen’s academics, such as those funded by the ESRC’s UK in a Changing Europe programme.

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Brexit-related Research at Queen’s University

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Tensions at the Fringes of the European Union – Regaining the EU’s Purpose

An interdisciplinary European studies project convened by Queen’s University Belfast’s Jean Monnet ad personam Chair in EU Law and Policy Professor Dagmar Schiek and comprising the Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Science Professor David Phinnemore and the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration Professor Lee McGowan.

TREUP aims to generate knowledge and stimulate critical debate on EU law and policy, focused on tensions between the EU’s goals.

TREUP’s four research clusters focus on tensions between:

You can keep up-to-date with the project by following the TREUP blog or on Twitter.

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Economic and Social Research Council Brexit Priority Grants

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Brexit and Northern Ireland: The Constitutional, Conflict Transformation, Human Rights and Equality Consequences

A collaborative project between leading researchers in Queen's University Belfast, Ulster University and the Committee on the Administration of Justice.

Led by Professor Colin Harvey from Queen’s, the projects aims to disentangle the legal elements of Brexit with regard to Northern Ireland and to communicate the related policy and practice implications in user-friendly formats.

Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and is the region of the UK most likely to be negatively affected by Brexit. It is now evident that the transformation of constitutional and legal relationships between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain flowing from the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 1998 was premised on background assumptions about common membership of the EU.

The UK-wide vote to leave the EU is thus profoundly unsettling for the peace process, and it has already proved constitutionally destabilising in and beyond Northern Ireland. As Brexit is challenging many of the fundamentals of constitutional relationships across these islands, this project intends to advance knowledge and understanding as well as provide policy-relevant insights into the constitutional, conflict transformation, human rights and equality consequences.

For more information visit the Brexit Law NI website. You can also follow the project on Facebook or on Twitter. 

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The UK/Ireland Border and the Stability of Peace and Security in Northern Ireland: Evidence for Policy Makers from two Deliberative Democracy Exercises

Led by Professor John Garry from the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, the project focuses on the issue of ‘the border’ and engages citizens in two deliberative democracy exercises to consider the likely impact of new post-Brexit border arrangements.

The aim is to provide policy makers with balanced and systematic evidence, from citizens, that will inform the policy-making process. 

As the Brexit negotiations proceed, policymakers will be confronted with the challenges of where exactly the post-exit border will lie and how ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ it will be. Citizens’ views on these issues will be an important factor for the negotiators to consider as the project explores how citizens of Northern Ireland perceive the ‘Brexit’ process and what their views are regarding the implications of Brexit for peace and stability in the region.

For more information visit the Brexit NI website

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Divergence, Dismantling and Contestation: Brexit and the Repoliticisation of UK Environmental Governance

This project is led by the University of York with Dr Viviane Gravey from Queen’s University leading the Northern Ireland element of the project.

Aimed at policymakers and stakeholders, the project aims to develop scenarios for future models of environmental governance in the UK, with a particular focus on the devolution implications arising from environmental policy and to identify and account for patterns of change and stability in environmental policy post-Brexit. 

This project will provide clear options for policy-makers and stakeholders by gathering views about how the sector should develop in future as well as a series of scenarios laying out how it could develop by mapping out the possible future contours of governance.

Read Viviane’s Briefing Paper on the challenges and opportunities of Brexit for the UK and Northern Ireland here 


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Health Law Outside the EU: Immediate, Intermediate and Long Term Impacts

This project is led by the University of Birmingham with Dr Mark Flear from Queen’s University leading the Scottish and Northern Ireland elements of the project.

This project will address four main research questions. First, how do the laws of the four devolved nations, the UK and the EU currently interact in the field of health? Secondly, what will the impact be upon domestic health law in the UK post-Brexit?

Thirdly, how will changes to health policy and practice post-Brexit be managed and what mechanisms will need to be put in place? Finally, what will be the impact on broader international law/agreements on health?

These questions will be answered by focusing on four overlapping substantive areas: public health, mobility, research, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Read Mark’s Briefing Paper on Brexit and Pharmaceuticals’ Regulation here

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