Ioanna Hadjiyianni and Amanda Spalding, PhD Candidates, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London
On the 23th of June 2016 the UK public voted to leave the European Union. Neither Whitehall nor the Leave campaign appear to have been prepared for such a result and the many legal and political issues it raises. In this post we will attempt to give an overview of some of the most significant legal questions raised by Brexit and how they might be resolved.
What happens now?
The current state of affairs is that the New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union negotiated by Cameron and reached at the European Council in February 2016 will not apply and no longer exists. The overwhelming question now is whether the result of the EU referendum has legally binding effect and would thus trigger the withdrawal procedure under EU law. The only acceptable procedure for withdrawal from the EU is provided for in Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) as the UK cannot unilaterally withdraw by suspending the European Communities Act 1972 consistently with international law and EU law requirements.
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”  political choice and swipes away the simplicity of some Leave rhetoric. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →