M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Camilla Cavendish

February 27, 4:00-5:30pm  Wexner 434-AB Conference Room

Overview: This study group will take a detailed look at the current options facing the UK government, Parliament and business as the UK moves towards exiting the European Union in March 2019. With opinion polls slowly shifting against Brexit, and campaigners pushing for a second referendum, but underlying issues of inequality and immigration unresolved, we will look at the possible ways in which Brexit may be neutered or reversed. 

Will a long transition out of the club end up becoming a permanent arrangement, in which the UK remains in the Single Market for the foreseeable future? Will the second referendum get off the ground and if so, how will the British vote? And as big business becomes increasingly vocal, what impact could this have?  This month, top Japanese executives warned the UK Prime Minister that Brexit trade barriers could lead to them leaving the UK, which is the second most important destination for Japanese investment after the US. 

Students will be asked to think through what decisions the key actors - government, business and the political parties in Parliament - should make. We will examine immigration rules, judicial oversight, and trade barriers. The group will identify the Known Knowns and the Known Unknowns, and discuss Unknown Unknowns. 

This is a real world case study of policymaking in an environment of considerable uncertainty.  Over the next few months, the national interests of the individual 27 EU member states will become clearer and the European Commission will become less able to control the agenda. The outlines of the eventual "deal" between the EU and UK will take shape. The UK has stated that it will leave the Single Market, but membership of the Customs Union is hotly disputed, as is the role of the European Court of Justice. For those who are concerned that Brexit could be an economic disaster, there is still everything to play for. 

Baroness Cavendish was a senior advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron and sits in the UK House of Lords, which is voting on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Camilla Cavendish.jpgCamilla Cavendish is an award-winning journalist and commentator who sits as an independent peer, Baroness Cavendish of Little Venice, in the UK House of Lords. She was a senior advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, as Head of the Policy Unit in Number Ten Downing Street. She received her MA from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and her MPA from the Kennedy School, where she was a Kennedy Memorial Trust Scholar. She has expertise on a wide-range of policy issues, including healthcare. She was the author of the Cavendish Review, An Independent Review into Healthcare Assistants and Support Workers in the NHS and social care settings, commissioned by the UK Government in 2013. She has been a Non-Executive Director of the Care Quality Commission, the UK’s hospital and care home regulator. She is best known as the author of the UK government’s “sugar tax” on sugary drinks, announced in 2016 to counter obesity, and for her work on child protection. As Assistant Editor and OpEd columnist for The Times newspaper, her campaign to expose miscarriages of justice in family courts convinced the Brown government to legislate, to open those courts to the media. She is the recipient of the Paul Foot/Private Eye award for investigative journalism; Campaigning Journalist of the Year and Wincott Senior Financial Journalist.  She is published regularly in The Sunday Times and The Financial Times, appears regularly on BBC and ITV television, and has presented programmes for BBC Radio 4 on topics including the age divide and air pollution. She is chair of Frontline, a pioneering non-profit which recruits and trains high performing graduates to be social workers. She started her career at McKinsey & Co and went on to be CEO of a public-private joint venture which regenerated London’s south bank area. As a Senior Fellow, her research is entitled: The coming demographic challenge, the emergence of the “Super Old”, and the need for new conceptual frameworks. Her faculty sponsor is Jeff Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy. Email: camilla_cavendish@hks.harvard.edu