giovedì 28 luglio 2016

From Britain and Ireland to Cyprus : accommodating 'divided islands' in the EU political and legal order

Nikos Skoutaris

In the Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016, England and Wales voted to leave the EU, while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. Following that, there has been a debate about how it would be possible to achieve the continuing EU presence of the UK constituent nations that do not want to be taken out against their will. This paper explores two pathways for Scotland and Northern Ireland to remain in the EU. The first entails the achievement of Scottish independence and the reunification of Ireland through democratic referendums. To this effect, the paper reviews the right of secession of those two constituent nations under UK constitutional law and revisits the debate on the appropriate legal basis regulating Scotland’s future EU Accession. The second pathway explores how it would be possible for Scotland and Northern Ireland to remain in the EU even without seceding from the UK. In order to do that, the paper points to the remarkable flexibility of the EU legal order to accommodate the differentiated application of Union law. By focusing on Cyprus, in particular, the paper assesses the possible challenges that such an arrangement would entail.

Subject: EU law; Constitutional law; Secession; Territorial differentiation

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Brexit: A Drama in Six Acts

Paul P. Craig 
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

July 11, 2016

European Law Review August 2016 

Brexit was drama and dramatic in equal measure. The referendum was initially promised in January 23 2013 and took place on June 23 2016. In the intervening years the issue remained largely in the political background, casting the occasional shadow, but rarely if ever dominating debate outside a self-select group of Conservative Eurosceptics. This was unsurprising given that the EU consistently registered low on the issues felt to be important by voters, barely ever coming above seven or eight in this regard. It was also unsurprising even within the Westminster village, since truth to tell it was not clear that the Prime Minister would have to honour the promise. This would only be so if he won an outright victory at the 2015 election. The opinion polls indicated a hung parliament where coalition government would be the order of the day, thereby allowing uncomfortable promises to be kicked into the political long grass. Matters turned out rather differently. David Cameron delivered the outright victory that had not been predicted and basked briefly in the glow of praise that attends such gladiatorial contests. It was to be short lived. The Conservative Eurosceptics left the Prime Minister in no doubt that his promise would indeed have to be kept. They pressed him to name the day, hoping that it would lead not to connubial bliss, but to the break-up of a union. The issue that had simmered on the political back burner assumed centre stage, and the run up to the referendum saw ever more heated debate. The Leave Camp won, and their principal protagonists set a new record for resiling from more promises in a shorter period of time than anyone could recall. Those who favoured Remain sincerely hope that all the rest is not just history.

This article charts the course of Brexit from the Bloomberg speech through to the referendum and beyond. It takes the drama that was Brexit and uses it to structure the subsequent analysis. Being cognizant of place and time, and the fact that it is 400 years since the death of Shakespeare, the ensuing discussion is therefore broken down into six Acts, each of which is foreshadowed by some select Shakespearian quotations that are pertinent to the discourse. I hope that it thereby enriches the analysis. Act 1 considers the road to Bloomberg and the origins of the promise to hold the referendum, followed in Act 2 by examination of the importance of the Balance of Competence Review, which was a major government exercise in which each department assessed the impact of EU law in its area. Act 3 picks up the story after the Conservative electoral victory in 2015, analysing David Cameron’s renegotiation of the UK’s terms of EU membership, while Act 4 concerns the referendum debate and the principal arguments deployed by the Leave and Remain camp respectively. Act 5, entitled the ‘political fall-out, a week is a long time in politics’, continues the story in the aftermath of the referendum, and contains three more specific scenes, politics as blood-sport, politics as party and politics as responsibility; it is followed by Act 6 ‘the legal fall-out, two years is a short time in law’, which also has three particular scenes in which key issues concerning the beginning, middle and end of the negotiation process under Article 50 TEU are explored.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: EU, withdrawal, Parliament, referendum, prerogative

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lunedì 25 luglio 2016

LSE "After the EU Referendum: What Next for Britain and Europe?"

"Presented by the Harold Laski Chair and Professor of Political Science, Simon Hix, this lecture will discuss the political and economic ramifications for Britain and Europe following the EU Referendum results. Professor Simon Hix is one of the leading researchers, teachers, and commentators on EU politics and institutions in the UK. He has published over 100 books and articles on various aspects of EU, European, British and comparative politics. He regularly gives evidence to committees in the UK House of Commons and House of Lords, and in the European Parliament, and he has advised the UK Cabinet Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office under both Labour and Conservative administrations" (taken from the LSE youtube channel)