Conferences and events

The 2016 conference took place at Pembroke College, Oxford. Weeks after the UK's vote to leave the EU, in a year that also saw elections in Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, over 150 people met to consider what had happened and what might lie ahead. Among the questions we discussed was the effect that Brexit might have on Northern Ireland and on British/Irish relations.

The Taoiseach was the opening speaker. Other speakers included the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, joined key politicians, academics and commentators to look at the current state of the Union. Northern Ireland's particular issues were the focus of a panel that comprised a Sinn Féin minister, a senior Alliance Party MLA, and the leaders of the SDLP and UUP. Finally, at the conclusion of a fascinating weekend, Roddy Doyle talked about commemoration, and Onora O'Neill made a compelling argument for improvement in the current standard of public debate.

At the next conference, to be held on 8-10 September 2017, we will continue this essential conversation about Brexit. Is dissolution inevitable or are there positive solutions to be found? The British-Irish relationship is very close. Can it stay so in the future?

Attendance at BIA conferences is by invitation of the Executive Committee. For more information please contact us.

"The British-Irish Association's conference is an annual highlight for those involved with Northern Ireland. Ideas are freely exchanged, personal relationships nurtured, and divisions overcome. In short, the BIA provides an invaluable meeting place for all of us working to make Northern Ireland a better place."

Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, former Special Envoy to the US Government.