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Social Sciences academic joins Independent Commission on UK-EU Relations

14th January 2022

An Associate Professor from Northumbria University has joined an independent organisation formed to work with business, civil society and sector experts to find solutions to challenges arising from the UK’s departure from the European Union.  

Dr Helena Farrand Carrapico from the Department of Social Sciences was invited to serve as a Commissioner with the Independent Commission on UK-EU Relations, which was launched at the end of November.

The organisation plans to help identify the political, legal and social issues created by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and the UK, and propose viable solutions in advance of the agreement renegotiation scheduled for 2024.

The invitation followed the publication of a book in 2019, co-authored by Dr Carrapico, on the impact of Brexit on the UK’s internal security, as well as a number of follow up articles on the future UK-EU relationship in the field of justice and home affairs.

Dr Helena Farrand Carrapico from the Department of Social Sciences is now a Commissioner with the Independent Commission on UK-EU Relations.Dr Carrapico is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Criminology and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Department of Social Sciences. She also holds the title of Jean Monnet Chair, a role awarded to some university professors by the European Commission based on a competitive selection process, which involves teaching and research specialising in European Union studies.

The new Commission is made of 15 Commissioners with backgrounds in business, industry, trade unions, the media, academia and civil society. It is chaired by Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect trade union, and Janice Hughes, CEO of Graphite Strategy. It includes Commissioners such as Lionel Barber, former editor of the Financial Times and Anna Jerzewska, founder of Trade and Borders international trade consultancy.

The purpose of the Commission, which is politically independent, is twofold:

  • To work with sector leaders to establish what issues have been created by the TCA in its current form, as well as by the negotiation process.
  • To work with sector leaders to create viable political and legal solutions within the existing framework.

The objective of the Commission is to improve on the UK’s existing relationship with the EU and to inform debate to help develop an improved agreement with the EU in the coming renegotiation.

Dr Carrapico commented: “It is an enormous privilege to join the Independent Commission on UK-EU Relations at a time when the impact of the TCA is becoming apparent in all sectors of activity.

“As we work towards renegotiation, I will be focusing in particular on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, where the reduction in data exchange and the limited engagement with EU agencies such as Europol and Eurojust are of particular concern to practitioners.”

Mike Clancy, co-chair of the Commission and general secretary of the Prospect trade union, said: “I believe the Commission can propose solutions which are achievable within the context of Brexit but which evidently benefit the people, businesses, nations and regions of the UK. Beyond the economy there are unresolved issues in defence, police cooperation and the outcome for Northern Ireland. The organisation is necessary for us to propose viable solutions.

“I look forward to being part of this endeavour, along with members for the world of business, journalism, civil society and academia - including Dr Carrapico - and hope that our work can contribute to moving the conversation forward among politicians and the public.”

The Department of Social Sciences at Northumbria offers an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in International Relations, Criminology, Sociology, International Development, Media, Journalism and Mass Communications. Find out more here about studying Social Sciences.


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