UCL European Institute


Oliver Patel



Institute Manager &
Research Associate

LinkedIn profile

Oliver is the Manager of the UCL European Institute, and leads on public policy engagement, partnerships, research strategy, operations, and finance.

Oliver is also a Research Associate and is an experienced policy researcher, writer, public speaker, and media commentator. He publishes widely on a range of policy areas, especially digital regulation, including data protection, cross-border data flows, AI policy and governance, and intermediary liability. Oliver also specialises in UK/EU politics and Brexit. Links to all of Oliver's work can be found below.

Previously, Oliver worked as a Researcher at both UCL Grand Challenges and the UCL Constitution Unit. He has also worked in Nesta's policy and research team, as well as the House of Commons office of Chuka Umunna MP. Oliver holds an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy (distinction) from LSE.

Publications and policy reports

The Cost of Data Inadequacy: the economic impacts of the UK failing to secure an EU data adequacy decision (2020), New Economics Foundation and UCL European Institute report.

EU-US Privacy Shield, Brexit and the Future of Transatlantic Data Flows (2020), UCL European Institute Policy Paper.

Data adequacy, Brexit and the implications for professional and business services firms (2020), House of Lords EU Services Sub-Committee inquiry, written evidence.

AI and International Relations: Shaping the Policy and Research Agenda (2020), UCL Public Policy Briefing.

Structurally Unsound - Exploring Inequalities: Igniting research to better inform UK policy (2019), UCL
Public Policy and Resolution Foundation study.

EU-UK Data Flows, Brexit and No-Deal: Adequacy or Disarray? (2019), UCL European Institute Brexit Insights.

Extending Article 50: Legal and Political Considerations (2019), UCL European Institute Brexit Insights.

The EU and the Brexit Negotiations: Institutions, Strategies and Objectives (2018), UCL European Institute Brexit Insights.

Brexit Transitional Arrangements: Legal and Political Considerations (2017), UCL European Institute Brexit Insights.

Brexit: Constitutional and Legal Requirements (2016), UCL Public Policy.

Brexit: The Consequences for Other EU Member States (2016), UCL Constitution Unit Briefing.

Brexit: The Consequences for the EU's Political System (2016), UCL Constitution Unit Briefing.

The Constitutional Consequences of Brexit: Whitehall and Westminster (2016), UCL Constitution Unit Briefing.

One psychiatrist, 400,000 patients: How can the rights of people with mental health conditions be protected? (2017), UCL Grand Challenges.

Curbing the spread of infectious diseasein India (2017), UCL Grand Challenges.

Blogs and op-eds 

The end of Privacy Shield spells trouble for Brexit Britain - WIRED

Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy explained - The Conversation

With no-deal looming, it's highly unlikely the EU will refuse an Article 50 extension - Huffington Post

How can we attract teachers and doctors to work in deprived areas? - UCL Grand Challenges

Brexit: is it possible to stop it? - The Conversation

The EU's negotiating strategy has worked so far, but it's playing a risky game - UCL Brexit Blog

Despite the obstacles, here's why a Brexit deal is still on the cards - Huffington Post

Theresa May is closer to a transitional deal than you might think - The Guardian

Now that Article 50 has been triggered, reality will start to bite - UCL Brexit Blog

What will Brexit mean for London's tech industry and digital entrepreneurs? - OpenDemocracy

Post-Brexit trade negotiations would pose significant practical challenges for Whitehall - UCL Constitution Unit

Eastern Europe’s internet is great - but does this matter for digital startups? - Nesta

Big Data Sing - UCL Culture

Sensational Ways of Seeing: Visual Impairment Hackathon - UCL Culture

An Extension of the Eye: The Impact of Surveillance Technologies - UCL Culture

Lecture and event videos

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TV Commentary

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Media commentary

UK will probably get an EU data adequacy agreement – but struggle to keep it - New Statesman Tech, June 2020

Experts weigh in as Brexit trade talks finally kick off - Andalou Agency, March 2020

The UK’s data sharing deals with Europe are about to get real messy - WIRED, February 2020

Will Boris Johnson 'get Brexit done' in 2020? - Deutsche Welle, January 2020

A no-deal Brexit may trigger a data disaster, and UK companies don't have a clue - WIRED, September 2019

Interview on Brexit, data flows and no-deal - BBC Radio 4, September 19

Bloomberg Westminster Hour Podcast - Bloomberg, September 2019

No-deal Brexit will ‘instantly disrupt’ UK’s role as £174bn global data hub - The Guardian, August 2019

Parliament facing Brexit decisions, more drama and deadline - Associated Press, March 2019


Featured work: data adequacy post-Brexit

Project info
Oliver directs a major research project on EU adequacy decisions and data transfers in the context of Brexit. Please contact Oliver for further information, consultancy, media commentary or collaboration on this topic. 





    Featured work: Exploring Inequalities

    Structurally Unsound - Exploring Inequalities: Igniting research to better inform UK policy - UCL and Resolution Foundation

    Project info

    Oliver worked as a Researcher for UCL Grand Challenges on the Exploring Inequalities project. He co-authored Structurally Unsound with Siobhan Morris (project director) and colleagues.

    Exploring Inequalities combines research and evidence on inequalities in the UK, with the aim of facilitating informed and joined-up policy making. The project provides a multi-disciplinary exploration of the nature of – and intersections between – different types of structural inequality.

    Podcast series

    Exploring Inequalities in UK Society

    Exploring the Language of Inequalities

    Exploring Inequality of Opportunity

    Exploring Inequalities in Evidence 

    Exploring Inequality of Voice in UK Society

    Exploring place-based inequalities in the UK

    Exploring ethnicity facts and figures


    How can we attract teachers and doctors to work in deprived areas? 

    Structurally Unsound Launch Event