27th Jun, 2022

Michael Portillo to chair Brexit debate at Coventry's Global Peace Forum

Felix Nobes 23rd May, 2018 Updated: 23rd May, 2018

COVENTRY businesses have been urged to attend the Global Peace Forum in the city to tackle the topic of trade and international enterprise after Brexit.

The forum will be held at the historic St Mary’s Guildhall in the city centre and will be headed by some recognisable political figures.

Former defence secretary and TV personality Michael Portillo will lead a debate on the impact of Brexit.

The forum will be called ‘RISING Britain: Foreign Policy after Brexit’ and it will analyse how harmony across borders could impact business after we leave the European Union (EU).

Portillo, a long term Eurosceptic, will lead discussion on June 14, with Judy Dempsey from the Carnegie Europe – a foreign policy think-tank – also taking part.

The event is led by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.

Professor Mike Hardy, the centre’s executive director, called on local businesses to attend the event and have their say.

He said: “With less than 12 months until the UK is due to leave the EU, it’s now time to ask the unique question, ‘How can Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy act as a force for international peace?’

“With his European ancestry, his political experience as a former defence secretary and, more recently, as a well-travelled broadcaster, Michael is in a unique position to have insight on this subject.

“Our future economic prosperity, both as a successful trading nation and as The Midlands Engine, depends on there being peace.

“If there’s not peace, the only businesses that can operate profitably are those in the defence and security industry.

“It’s right too that this question should be asked in Coventry, the UK’s only city of peace and reconciliation.

“Coventry is a city with a long history of looking outwards and working innovatively with people around the world.”

The annual RISING Global Peace Forum gathers peacebuilders, policymakers and academics from around the world to explore and promote strategies for resolving conflict and sustaining peaceful societies.

Launched in 2015 with RISING 15 – featuring Gordon Brown – and followed by RISING 16 in 2016, RISING Global Peace Forum has drawn international audiences.

Last year, the Forum hosted events in the USA, Northern Ireland and Colombia.

The discussion on June 14 will double up as a lunch event; tickets are priced at £80 per person or £480 for table of 8 (£60 per person), including a three course lunch.

Discounts for Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce members at £70 per person, of £430 for a table of 8.

For more information contact RISING@coventry.ac.uk

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