When he was Theresa May’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson famously said, apropos of Brexit, that his ‘policy on cake’ was ‘pro having it and pro eating it’ — in other words, having the best of both worlds. Although the Prime Minister doubled down on that view yesterday, claiming that he had delivered the ‘cakeist’ fantasy… Continue reading The UK-EU Brexit Agreements and ‘sovereignty’: Having one’s cake and eating it?
I recently completed work on an article for a special issue of the Japanese legal journal Horitsu Jiho. The theme of the special issue is the impact of the forces of globalisation and nationalism on constitutional law and the study of it. In my contribution, I consider the potential implications of the United Kingdom’s departure… Continue reading The United Kingdom’s constitution and Brexit: A ‘constitutional moment’?
Earlier today, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Stephen Barclay MP, posted a tweet saying that he had “signed the legislation setting in stone the repeal” of the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA). (The ECA is the UK statute that gives effect to EU law in the UK’s domestic legal system.) He… Continue reading The Brexit Secretary says he has “set in stone” the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 — but the legal significance of this misleading claim is very limited
The following letter was published in The Times on 12 August 2019. It responds to an article, published in the same newspaper on 9 August, in which Professor Vernon Bogdanor made a number of suggestions about Parliament’s capacity to prevent a no-deal Brexit. (Some of the same suggestions were also made in a Guardian article… Continue reading Letter to The Times: Parliament’s (limited) capacity to prevent a no-deal Brexit
Boris Johnson, the UK’s new Prime Minister, says that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October “do or die”. With negotiations between the UK and the EU apparently at an impasse, the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit now appears to be somewhat greater than the “million-to-one against” chance to which Johnson referred in… Continue reading Can Parliament prevent a no-deal Brexit?
In a recent article in the Telegraph, Professor John Finnis advances two quite astonishing arguments. First, he advocates proroguing Parliament until after 12 April (the day on which the UK is scheduled to leave the EU) in order to ‘terminate parliamentary debate’ on Brexit. (Prorogation is the ending of a parliamentary session pending the next… Continue reading Brexit, the Executive and Parliament: A response to John Finnis
Throughout all of the twists and turns of the Brexit process so far, a rare point of certainty had (until recently) been that the UK was set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. But following last week’s European Council decision, that is no longer the case. The new default position is that the… Continue reading Revoking Article 50: Legislating to take a no-deal Brexit off the table
The House of Lords Constitution Committee recently issued a report on the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill. The Bill amounts to an excellent, if alarming, case study on constitutional implications of legislating for a blind Brexit — blind in the sense that it remains unclear whether the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019… Continue reading The Healthcare Bill: A case study in the implications (and dangers) of legislating for Brexit
On its new “Brexit Facts” website, the UK Government takes issue with the claim that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement “would not give us back control of our laws”. However, in disputing that claim, the Government makes some questionable assertions of its own… Continue reading The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement: Taking back “control of our laws”?
After digging in its heels, the House of Commons Procedure Committee has extracted an undertaking from the Government that the process of scrutinising Brexit-related secondary legislation will function as parliamentarians had envisaged when the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 was being enacted… Continue reading Parliamentary control over Brexit-related delegated legislation: An important Government climbdown