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14 Jun 2016

Brexit debate for York Festival of Ideas 2016

Lord Lawson will join a distinguished panel of experts to debate the EU Referendum as part of the York Festival of Ideas.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson will join Labour MP Yvette Cooper and Financial Times journalist Tony Barber to present arguments for and against ‘Brexit’ on Thursday 16 June.

Lord Lawson served in the Thatcher cabinet from 1981, overseeing privatisation policies, deregulation and the financial ‘Big Bang’ in 1986.

Serving as a backbencher from 1989 – 1992, he now sits in the House of Lords and is the former Chairman of the Vote Leave campaign.

Presenting arguments a week before the polls open, the EU Referendum Focus Day runs from midday – 7pm, with discussions on the social, legal and business consequences of Brexit and ideas surrounding reforming the EU.

As part of the Focus Day, Richard Portes, President of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, will deliver a keynote address, followed by a debate on how to effect meaningful reform.

Former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Yvette Cooper (Stronger In) will debate some of the key issues.

Dr Sofia Vasilopoulou, Lecturer in Politics, University of York, said: “This is an issue of profound importance that will have a direct and long-lasting impact on this country and beyond.

“It is important the people are exposed to arguments on both sides and are given all the information they need to make an informed decision.

“It promises to be a fascinating Focus Day with a distinguished panel of experts discussing the pros and cons of Brexit.”

The Festival of Ideas returns this year from 7 – 19 June with a packed programme of more than 150 diverse and stimulating events delivered under the overarching theme of ‘Tick Tock’.

This is inspired by the publication of the US Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock report 3 Minutes to Midnight - measuring humanity’s close proximity to global catastrophe.

With free events across the city, featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions, performances and interactive experiences, the annual festival aims to educate, entertain and inspire people of all ages and interests.

Now in its sixth year, the Festival has grown to become one of the largest free festivals in the UK, last year attracting over 31,500 people to 170 events.

The Festival is led by the University in collaboration with more than 60 city and national organisations, including The Holbeck Trust, The Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, The Morrell Centre for Toleration, Classic FM, Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Shepherd Group, Quorn Foods and Virgin Trains.

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