Federalism by Conventions: The Constitutional Implications of Brexit on the Union
Speaker: Dr Robert Taylor
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On 23rd June 2016, a majority of the British electorate decided to leave the European Union against all expectations, and the constitutional impact of this historic decision, particularly on the Union, remains shrouded in uncertainty. Despite being a UK-wide referendum, the Union was left very much divided following the result. Although the majority of England and Wales chose to leave the EU, both Northern Ireland and Scotland chose decisively to remain. Two nations thus risk being dragged out of the EU against their wishes, thereby bringing into question not only the desirability of the UK’s constitutional arrangements, but the continued existence of the UK itself. Some have suggested that the only viable solution post-Brexit is for a federal UK where each nation is given greater autonomy over its own affairs – including perhaps EU membership – which is enshrined in law via a new codified and entrenched constitution. Such a move would constitute a major shift in the direction of the constitution which, it is argued, may bring as much uncertainty as the referendum result itself. I thus wish to explore alternative options, in particular the role constitutional conventions may have to play in creating and regulating a federal UK.
Hosted by: School of Law
Venue: New Kings NK11