Brexit Related Events / Conferences / Seminars in 2020

Synopsis: Below are details of some of the upcoming events, conferences and seminars on the theme of Brexit and Northern Ireland.

Details are listed below of  Brexit related events forthcoming in 2020. The events are listed in reverse chronological order.  You can also view details of past events which took place in 20192018, 2017 and 2016.

Forthcoming Events in 2020:  
January | February | March | April | May June | July | August | September | October | November | December |

 Please note that some of these events may be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Date Location Event Details Description
Thursday 24th September  Online event

The UK Internal Market Bill - a new Brexit crisis?

(4.00 - 5.00pm)
The Brexit Civil Society Alliance, the Wales Civil Society Forum on Brexit, the Human Rights Consortiums in Scotland and Northern Ireland and SULNE have joined up to hold a 1 hour webinar to discuss how the UK Internal Market Bill presents not only a serious threat to the rule of law, but also to the devolution settlements, the peace process and the maintenance of UK high standards across health, environment, animal welfare and more.
Wednesday 23rd September

Online event
by Queen's Policy Engagement (formerly QPol) using Zoom

Negotiating Brexit: September Brexit Clinic At Queen's

(12.30 - 1.45pm)

Although the transition period ends on 31 Dec 2020, all aspects of the UK's future relationship with the EU-27 would need to be agreed soon to allow the ratification process to begin before the end of November. But to quote Michel Barnier following the August negotiation round: "Today, at this stage, an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union seems unlikely."

So what happens next and what is the likelihood of an agreement being reached?

Queen's Policy Engagement resident Brexit panel will share their thoughts on the negotiation process and the implications for Northern Ireland and the UK.

Wednesday 23rd September Online event
by Centre on Constitutional Change - using Collaborate

UK and the Internal Market - implications for devolution and the Union


The UK Government's Internal Market Bill sparked controversy when the Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, conceded the government's willingness to depart from international law in overriding aspects of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. Its implications for devolution are no less controversial.

Mure Dickie of the Financial Times will moderate a discussion between:

Professor Nicola McEwen (University of Edinburgh), Professor Michael Keating (University of Aberdeen) and Professor Aileen McHarg (Durham University).

Friday 11th September

Online event
by Institute for Government (IFG) using Microsoft Teams

The UK border after Brexit 

(10.00 - 11.00)

At the end of the year the UK will leave the single market and customs union: goods crossing the border between GB and the EU will be subject to customs formalities for the first time in nearly 30 years, as well as new regulatory checks. The Northern Ireland protocol also means that there will be new rules for goods moving from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.

With just months to go, new IT systems and infrastructure still need to be put in place, additional staff need to be recruited, and businesses will need to be ready to comply with these new trading requirements. But there is still some uncertainty about how some aspects of the border, particularly in the Irish Sea, will work in practice.

To discuss these issues, IFG will be joined by a panel of experts, including those representing sectors that will play a critical role in ensuring the UK border works effectively from the end of the year.

Thursday 9th July Live Webinar by UK in a Changing Europe

Devolution post-Brexit: new frictions, old tensions

(12.00 noon)

The UK's membership of the EU played a supporting role in maintaining the domestic Union, even as devolved powers grew. Brexit has exposed the legal fragility of the UK internal market at a time when relations between Westminster and the devolved governments are especially fraught. Proposals to replace EU regulation with new all-UK frameworks may reduce the risk of internal barriers, but they could also further centralise power in London. This panel will explore these tensions and consider how they might play into debates on the future of the Union itself.
Thursday 18th June

Online Event

Brexit, Epistemic Injustice and Northern Ireland in the Time of COVID-19

At the most general level this paper contributes to the proposition that politicians and people in mainland UK – Great Britain, but especially England – generally minimise or even ignore or sideline and marginalise the knowledges of people in Northern Ireland. This, in short, amounts to epistemic injustice, what Fricker describes as a 'wrong done to someone specifically in their capacity as a knower'. The paper contributes to the broader proposition by reference to the context of health law and policy, specifically in relation to Brexit.
Speaker:  Dr Mark Flear, Reader in Law (QUB)

Wednesday 17th June Online Event Attitudes towards Irish unification in Northern Ireland after Brexit

This webinar marks the release of the results of the 2019 Northern Ireland Life & Times (NILT) survey.  The NILT Survey has proven a useful tool for tracking changes (and continuities) over time in the political attitudes and identities of people in Northern Ireland.
In this webinar, Dr Katy Hayward, Dr Milena Komarova and Ben Rosher (Queen’s University Belfast) will discuss the results of new questions on the topic of Irish unification, in part to see what could potentially make a difference in changing those attitudes either for or against. These results will be considered in light of previous NILT results and the changing context for Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit future. 

Thursday 28th May

Belfast City Hall
Donegall Square North


SAVE THE DATE: Post-Brexit Economic Outlook

(9.00am - 12.00noon)

As we enter a new decade, Ulster Bank Chief Economist, Richard Ramsey gives an overview of the past decade and examines the key trends and topics of 2020 and beyond, including:

  • Brexit
  • Climate Change -
  • Ageing Population
  • Migration and supply of labour
  • AI and Technology

This is a free-to-attend breakfast event.

Friday 1st May

Armagh City Hotel
2 Friary Road
BT60 4FR

2020 Irish Farmers Journal Spring Conference

Prospects for NI and UK agriculture post Brexit

(9.00 - 1.00pm)

The 2020 Spring Conference is brought to you by the Irish Farmers Journal supported by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) and delivered by specialists from the Andersons Centre.

The conference will be delivered by experts from the Andersons Centre, and will look at the financial health of the agri-food industry across the UK, the latest policy developments and the challenges that lie ahead, including relating to Brexit and climate change.

The event will conclude with a panel session when there will be an opportunity to ask questions directly of the speakers.

 Friday 24th April School of Law
Queen's University
County Antrim


The Ireland-Northern Ireland Protocol to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

(9.00am - 5.00pm)

The ICEL and the School of Law in Queen's University Belfast are delighted to announce an all-day conference on the Brexit  withdrawal Agreement. The conference will feature an impressive range of speakers who will address the most important issues arising in this complex and ever-changing area, including the governance arrangements by which the agreement will be implemented in both the UK and the EU; Fundamental Rights; Citizenship and Free Movement; Goods, Customs and the Single Market; and likely future developments.
Monday 6th April

Europa Hotel
Great Victoria Street

RES Presents: Brexit, UK and Ireland

by The Royal Economic Society

(6.30 - 7.30pm)

The Royal Economic Society in co-operation with the Irish Economic Association and Queen's University Belfast invites members of the public to its free event on 'Brexit, UK and Ireland'. The panel discussion will focus on the economic challenges facing Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Friday 27th March Peter Froggatt Centre Room 02/026
Queen's University Belfast
University Road

Negotiating Brexit: What can we expect?

by Queen's Policy Engagement (formerly QPol)


The UK and EU chief negotiators met at the beginning of March to begin the formal negotiation on the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Negotiations will alternate between Brussels and London over the coming months but already the UK has warned the EU it will walk away from trade talks in June unless there is a "broad outline" of a deal.

Both sides have laid out their priorities for the negotiations, so what are the key issues being discussed? And what is the likelihood of an agreement being reached if the "UK will not negotiate any arrangements in which it doesn't have control of its own laws and political life?"

Come along and join in the discussion with Queen's resident EU and Brexit experts, led by Prof David Phinnemore.

Friday 27th March

Belfast (TBC)

Brexit Briefing (Northern Ireland)

by CBI

(8.00am - 10.30am)


Event organised by Confederation of British Industry (CBI):
"Get ahead of the curve and give your business the edge by joining the CBI’s Campaigns team for a download on their latest Brexit and political intelligence.
Keeping pace with the constantly evolving political environment is exceptionally challenging, but our latest insights will ensure you are better able to prepare for the external changes impacting your business."

Thursday 26th March

Moot Court,
School of Law,
Main Site Tower,
Queen's University Belfast
University Road

'Brexit, Health and Me' documentary screening and discussion

by Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics

(6.30 - 8.00pm)

 In 2019, four academics from University of Sheffield and Queen’s University Belfast began a research project examining health governance after Brexit. Along the way, they were joined by ShoutOutUK to produce a documentary about people’s expectations, hopes and fears for health in the post-Brexit era. 

The result is a gripping documentary about the role health and the NHS played in people’s vote on Brexit and in people’s imaginations about what the future holds.

Join us for a screening of ‘Brexit, health and me’ and a panel discussion with the academics behind it.

Wednesday 25th March

Pug Uglys
21 Bedford Street

Navigating Uncharted Territory



These islands are steaming headlong into uncharted territory: politically, economically and socially.
The Assembly and Executive are restored but can they weather the storm of RHI, welfare pressure, and the crisis facing the health service?
Local businesses fear the prospect of extra paperwork post-Brexit for goods entering and leaving Northern Ireland, squeezing margins in a region already remote from potential growth markets.
Friday 28th February

Cafe Vic-Ryn
Moira Road
BT28 2RF

Business Event - Economic Review & Brexit Update

(8.00am - 10.00am)

Economic Review & Brexit Update delivered by Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank Chief Economist, Stephen Kelly, CEO Manufacturing NI & Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP

Thursday      27th February

Titanic Belfast
1 Olympic Way
Queen's Road
BT3 9EP                    

The Northern Ireland Brexit Summit       

(by Premier Publishing & Events)                             

(9.00am - 4.00pm)

The 2020 Northern Ireland Manufacturing & Supply Chain Expo will provide a forum for manufacturers and operators involved throughout the supply chain to gather to discuss pressing issues facing the industry. It will cover the full manufacturing spectrum, including the food and drink, biopharma, medtech, healthcare, construction, procurement, and precision engineering sectors.
Wednesday 12th February Raise
3-5 Commercial Court

Bracing for Brexit

by Think People Consulting Ltd


Get Prepared, and Stay Compliant. The post-exit implementation period during 2020 provides an opportunity for employers to take stock of workforce planning and immigration compliance ahead of the major legal and process changes expected to be in place in the near future, and in particular from 2021.

It is vital to remain up to date on areas such as the EU Settlement Scheme, right to work checks, sponsoring migrant workers and prevention of illegal working.

Tuesday 11th February

Shaftesbury Recreation Centre
(Main Hall) 
97 Balfour Avenue

A Conversation about the Constitutional Future of Ireland

(7.30 - 9.30pm)

The Constitutional Conversations Group has organised conversations in Dublin, Derry and Belfast. The aim of each conversation is to have an open exchange about constitutional futures on our shared island. A discussion that respects the values of the Good Friday Agreement and engages with the constitutional consequences of Brexit.

Panellists include: Margaret Ward, Eilish Rooney, Duncan Morrow and Colin Harvey

Tuesday 4th February

The Canada Room and Council Chamber
Queen's University Belfast
University Road

Queen's Policy Engagement Post-Brexit Clinic

by Queen's Policy Engagement (formerly QPol)


The UK's request to extend the Brexit deadline to 31 January 2020 was agreed in 2019 but the UK can also leave before then if a deal is agreed by Parliament. However, as things stand, the 1st February 2020 will mark the first day of the transition period for the UK and the beginning of a very tight timeframe for negotiating the UK's future relationship with the EU before the 31 December deadline.

Join us on 4 February 2020 for the latest updates from our resident Brexit experts, led by Professor David Phinnemore. Will the UK have exited the EU on the 31st January? Has Boris simply kicked a cliff-edge Brexit down the line? Will the new withdrawal agreement create a border in the Irish Sea?

Wednesday 22nd January

Maldron Hotel
200 Airport Road,
BT29 4ZY

Get Ready for Brexit - Training Needs Analysis workshop

(09.00am - 1.00pm)



At this workshop - organised by Invest NI - you will get an insight into the tools and techniques used by learning and development professionals to analyse training needs. This will enable you to increase productivity and improve the skills of your people through targeted training going forward.
With potential changes to your workforce as a consequence of Brexit it is important to review your skills needs.
This interactive session will cover:
  • What is a training needs analysis?
  • The 3 levels of training analysis
Thursday 16th January

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law
University Square

Citizenship in Northern Ireland after Brexit 

A seminar hosted by the Joint Committee of NIHRC & IHREC at Queen's University Belfast

 (3.30 - 6.00pm)

Reference in the UK-EU Report on Negotiations in December 2017 to the continuing EU rights, opportunities and benefits of Irish citizens in Northern Ireland, ‘including where resident in Northern Ireland’, raised expectations - subsequently dampened in the Withdrawal Agreement - but also posed challenges in terms of the equality, parity of esteem and birthright aspects of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement 1998.

Though the birthright issue dates back to the signing of the Agreement and discussion on a Bill of Rights, it has been brought into sharp focus by Brexit and court cases including that of Emma and Jake de Souza, seeking to rely on Irish citizenship to avail of EEA rights.

Addressing these issues and the potential to reconcile two Agreements and domestic law and ensure no diminution of rights, our speakers will include research authors,Dr. Ben Warwick of Birmingham Law School and Colin Murray of Newcastle Law School; and leading Immigration barrister, Alison Harvey.

Wednesday 15th January

River House
48-60 High Street

Political Briefing
by Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

(8.00am -10.00am)

Enter 2020 ahead of the curve by joining the CBI’s Campaigns and EU Negotiations teams for a download on their latest political intelligence.
The prospect of a new Government means businesses will be facing anything from a Brexit deal, to a no-deal, and possibly a second referendum. We know it’s never been harder for businesses to plan, and keeping pace with the constantly evolving political environment is exceptionally challenging. Our latest insights will ensure you are better able to prepare for the external changes impacting your business and seize opportunities as they arise

Monday 6th January The Canada Room and Council Chamber
Queen's University Belfast
University Road


Brexit, Citizens’ Assemblies and the future of Democracy in the UK

by The Democracy Unit, QUB

(6.00pm - 8.00pm)

The Brexit process has put the UK’s democratic system under great strain, pitting competing democratic visions against each other and exposing weaknesses in each.

This special event will examine those weaknesses and consider possible ways of addressing them. Could the 2016 referendum have been designed differently to create a less polarised process? How could the grievances with current politics that the referendum result highlighted be tackled?

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