Exclusive: Union open period events announced

All University and Brookes students can attend Open Period events

RT Deputy Editor in Chief, Anna Belkina; Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe; former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott, Sir Paul Smith, and Jo Malone will join Jude Law and Jeremy Gilley at the Oxford Union during its annual Open Period, Cherwell can exclusively report.

Heads of state and diplomats feature heavily in the first few weeks, including the Iranian Ambassador to the UK and the former President of Botswana, Ian Khama. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, will explore the geopolitical future of the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, will deliver a talk entitled “Brexit – be happy!”, while former President of Finland, Tara Halonen, will discuss sustainable development.

Two debates will take place, notably the perennial ‘No Confidence’ debate including Universities Minister Sam Gyimah MP, Conservative Chairman Brandon Lewis, and Shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffiths MP, for the Opposition. There will be ten individual speaker appearances.

Two special events will take place during the period. Firstly, on 10th October. RT (formerly Russia Today) UK editor Nikolay Bogachikhin will be giving a presentation followed by a Q&A accompanied by Deputy Editor in Chief, Anna Belkina.

In addition, a special ‘Head to Head’ event will take place on 17th October, which will see EU Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is responsibile for the euro and fiscal union, arguing that ‘The Euro is Stronger than it has ever Been’, a day before a crucial meeting of the European Council.

With a new prominence of titled talks across Michaelmas, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev will also be lecturing on ‘The Security Challenges Facing Europe.”

Leaving current affairs behind for the metaphysical, the final debate of the Open Period, “This House Believes that Science Alone Cannot Answer our Deepest Questions” will bring together philosophers, such as Oxford’s own Prof Richard Swinburne, and scientists including American cosmologist Frank Tipler.

Any student with a Bod or Brookes card will be able to attend any of these events prior to the 18th October without Union membership. Those interested in becoming members will be able to at a reduced price during the Open Period.

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