RISING Britain: Foreign Policy after Brexit

Date: Thursday 14 June 2018

Time: 12pm – 3pm

Venue: Coventry, St. Mary’s Guildhall


About the event

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.

Yet in all discussions about Brexit and our ability to negotiate new trade deals around the world, the one issue that we’ve completely ignored is the question of how will Britain help ensure that there is international peace so businesses can trade successfully.

With less than 12 months until the UK is due to leave the EU, it’s RISING Britain: Foreign Policy after Brexit asked the unique question, ‘How can Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy act as a force for international peace?’ 

Our history, our language and our culture give us the opportunity and the responsibility to make a unique and inspiring contribution to global peace.  We must seize both if we are to prosper in the decades ahead.

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.

For many centuries, long before RISING became established as an internationally-recognised peace forum and before the city successfully won UK City of Culture 2021 status, Coventry has welcomed strangers and has been prepared to have peaceful dialogue and trade with people from other cultures.

To help us consider this question, we welcomed British broadcaster and former cabinet member Rt Hon Michael Portillo. With his European ancestry, his political experience as a former Secretary of State for Defence and, more recently, as a well-travelled broadcaster, Portillo is in a unique position to have insight on this subject.

International affairs expert Judy Dempsey of Carnegie Europe also spoke at the event, responding to Portillo’s address from the perspective of the European Union.



Rt Hon Michael Portillo talks Foreign Policy after Brexit



RISING Britain Media Release

Meet the speakers

Rt Hon Michael Portillo

Rt Hon Michael Portillo is a British Broadcaster and former Cabinet Minister, serving as Secretary of State for Defence from 1995–1997.


Judy Dempsey

Judy Dempsey is a senior fellow at the foreign policy thinktank Carnegie Europe and also editor in chief of the Strategic Europe blog. She will be responding to Mr Portillo’s view of Britain’s future role on the international stage.


About the venue

An atmospheric and architecturally stunning survivor of the medieval age, St. Mary’s Guildhall is widely considered to be the finest remaining medieval guildhall in the country.

Learn more



RISING Britain – A4 Poster