Review of “Britain Alone! The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU”

Review of “Britain Alone! The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU”, edited by Patrick J Birkinshaw, Andrea Biondi (European Monographs 96, Kluwer Law International: 2016, hard cover, ISBN 978904115832, 376 pages, £ 100.00)

Matteo Negro, LLM Candidate, King’s College London and Luigi Lonardo, PhD Candidate, King’s College London

“Heavy fog in Channel. Continent cut off.

The London Times, headline, 22 October 1957


David Cameron has described UK’s Brexit vote as a “once in a generation” decision. The implications of such a decision indeed deserve the full attention of citizens – and all the more so of scholars and practitioners. In this context, the publication of “Britain Alone! The implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU” (Kluwer Law International, 2016, 376 pages), edited by Professors Patrick J. Birkinshaw (Hull University) and Andrea Biondi (King’s College London), is a timely and welcomed publication. It contributes to the public and academic debate, analysing in detail the impact of a Brexit scenario on the UK’s legal system. It explains the legal difficulties of an “open sea” [1] political choice and swipes away the simplicity of some Leave rhetoric. Continue reading

EU Referendums and Renegotiations: Re-examined

Maria Kendrick, Visiting Lecturer and PhD Candidate at King’s College London

On 15 September 2015, when writing on Matrix Chambers’ EU Law blog site eutopia law, (available here) the EU Referendum Bill was passing through the legislative process of the House of Commons. Its legal importance extends not only to its amendments but to the apparent revelation of the sovereignty paradox: ‘both politicians and lawyers alike are citing the preservation of Parliamentary sovereignty as the reason for supporting Brexit whilst at the same time backing the use of a referendum because of a lack of legitimacy in the parliamentary system.’In essence, the use of a referendum is being advocated to circumvent the Parliamentary system in order to provide the opportunity to vote to leave the European Union and restore sovereignty to our national Parliament. Since then, events – but notably not motivations – have progressed. Continue reading

Voting in European Union referendums: A Neighbour’s Experience

Graham Butler

PhD Fellow, Centre for Comparative and European Constitutional Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Referendums on European Union (EU)-related issues have occurred in a number of Member States since the foundation of the project, and may be considered highly salient in value in the eyes of voters. While political events such as referendums on EU questions have not featured prominently for the United Kingdom in the recent past, for the first time in decades, before the end of 2017, the United Kingdom will vote on a referendum with options of either remaining in the EU, or choosing to voluntarily leave. This second referendum on the EU, after the previous ballot in 1975, can be traced in numerous political variables. The evolving nature of the EU from the initial internal market, to being a more encompassing actor covering a wider breath of public policies, linked with the rise of popular Euroscepticism, has led to increased scenarios where referendums are availed of in many Member States. This short post looks at some of the experiences that the closest geographical and most closely related neighbouring state to the United Kingdom, has in holding referendums on EU questions. From a legal and political perspective, Ireland offers many lessons and learning outcomes on what the United Kingdom will face, given the Irish familiarity and understanding of referendums on questions of EU nature.

Continue reading

IN or OUT – WIN or LOSE? Who is really going to feel the Brexit?

by Anne Wesemann LLM European Union Law, PhD candidate (European Union Law) – University of Sussex; Lecturer in Law – The Open University

In the coming referendum on the UK’s membership to the EU, an undecided electorate will struggle to form an opinion. Both campaigns are doing a great job at confusing opinions with facts, claiming one official can speak for a whole nation, and both are taking a more or less educated guess regarding consequences for the UK.

We have read a lot about the views of members of the government, officials or former cabinet ministers. What is missing from the debate is an assessment of the consequences for the European Union. How do the then remaining members of the Union view the prospect of the UK’s exit? Who would be the real big loser, should Brexit become reality? Can it even have an impact on the relations to the USA? Continue reading

KSLR Brexit Series

The KSLR EU Blog is pleased to announce that over the next few weeks it will publish a series of articles on the EU referendum and the possibility of Britain leaving the EU (‘Brexit’).  We’ll look at issues such as Ireland’s experience with referendums on EU matters, how other Union members and the USA view ‘Brexit’, the legal technicalities of the referendum which are causing arguments between the ‘In’ and ‘Out’ camps and a review of the new book Britain Alone: The Implications and Consequences of the UK Exit from the EU. 
We’ll kick off today with Anne Wesemann’s post : ‘IN or OUT – WIN or LOSE? Who is really going to feel the Brexit?’