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Date : 13/09/2022 | Time : 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm |

How National is the National Interest? – Anthony Cary CMG

September 13th 2022 6.30 for 7.00pm.

At The River Room,  Riverside Studios, by Hammersmith Bridge W6 9BN.

Join us for the first in person HFA event in over two years for this highly topical talk and discussion.

Please see the booking form below to buy a ticket.

Restoration of national sovereignty played a central part in securing the vote for Brexit. Many were persuaded that there was choice to be made between “sovereignty” and ignominious subservience to others.  Globalism, internationalism – and the EU in particular – were felt to represent an assault on nationality and the very existence of the nation state.

The losing side believed that to be a false choice. Every international treaty involves some sacrifice of independence of action in the pursuit of wider benefits.  There is a distinction to be made between pure sovereignty and effective sovereignty, which might be defined as maximising a country’s ability to shape the world in which it must make its way. In the modern, interconnected world national interests cannot be defined, let alone pursued, nationally.

Where does the balance lie between these competing visions of sovereignty? What is the patriotic choice?

The speaker, Anthony Cary, was a diplomat who served as chef de cabinet to Chris Patten in the European Commission, and later as British Ambassador to Sweden and High Commissioner to Canada. He is Chairman of the Canada-UK Council. He was a Harkness Fellow from 1980 to 82.

There is a charge for this meeting to cover costs. Canapes and drinks will be served from 6.30 and for a short while after the formal session is completed at 8.00.

The venue is a new one for the Harkness Fellows Association. Located in the recently renovated Riverside Studios, by Hammersmith Bridge,  the River Room looks out onto the Thames with openable doors.  It is fully accessible.  There is nearby on street parking, for a charge.  Free on street parking and a multi-story car park are within 10 minutes walk.  The venue  is five to ten minutes walk from Hammersmith tube station, which is served by three tube lines, linking Hammersmith to many mainline stations.

There is a bar and brasserie style restaurant  in Riverside Studios, for those wanting to eat/socialise before or after the talk.

Further information will be given in the booking confirmation.

Any queries about the booking should be sent to or call Lizzie on 07415 322811.


HFA Member^: £20

HFA Member’s^ guest £20

Non-member: £23

Non-member’s Guest: £23


Ticket Type Price Spaces
HFA Member^ £20.00
HFA Member's^ guest £20.00
Non-member £23.00
Non-member's Guest £23.00

You can pay with credit or debit or through your PayPal account.

* Required field

^ You are an HFA member if you pay an annual donation to the Harkness Fellows Association.

^^ In case we need to call about changes to the event.