On May 30, 2017, Volterra Fietta and the University of Notre Dame hosted a debate of whether foreign investors can sue the United Kingdom for a hard Brexit. The recorded video is now available for viewing.

Markus Burgstaller and I presented the case that foreign investors may have viable claims against the UK, while Jeremy Sharpe and Luis González García presented a respondent state perspective. Suzanne Sharpe and Martins Paparinskis provided additional commentary.

The British government was invited to attend and present its views, but respectfully declined. Afterwards, a spokesman for the Department of International Trade stated that “The government does not believe that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will provide grounds for valid legal claims under our bilateral investment treaties.”

Following a lively debate, the audience was surveyed and 58 percent voted that foreign investors would not have viable claims against the British government for a hard Brexit, while 42 percent responded that they would.

The event was reported in various news outlets, including the Times, the Daily Mail, and Global Arbitration Review, among others.


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