The EU’s post-Brexit policy on euro clearing explained

17 Feb

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has reignited concern about the long-standing ‘tug of war’ over the clearing of euro-denominated instruments – first and foremost, derivatives. Scott James (KCL) and Lucia Quaglia (University of Bologna) explain the EU’s post-Brexit policy on euro clearing. Clearing is the process by which a ‘clearing house’, also called a ‘central counter … Continued

Employment and social policy will be a sticking point in negotiations between London and Brussels

13 Feb

Compared to the legal framework of the Single European Market, the EU’s competence in employment and social policy is relatively weak. Paul Copeland (QMUL) writes that this is likely to be a sticking point in negotiations between London and Brussels on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The vast majority of EU legislation in … Continued

Long read | It’s the autonomy, stupid – can the EU and UK agree the rules of a future relationship?

10 Feb

With the Article 50 withdrawal process complete, the European Union and the United Kingdom now have to start the more difficult task of defining their future relationship. Can the parties reach an agreement before the transition period ends in December 2020, asks Kenneth Armstrong (University of Cambridge)? Both the UK government and the European Commission will want to … Continued

Brexit complicates the EU’s efforts to reform its Common Agricultural Policy

6 Feb

The UK leaves the EU just as the bloc is debating the future shape of its largest spending policy, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in the context of negotiating its future budget spending and priorities as part of its Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027. As Alan Matthews (Trinity College Dublin) and Christilla … Continued

How should financial governance disputes be resolved after Brexit?

5 Feb

Financial governance is complex and dynamic, and disputes between the UK and EU will inevitably emerge. How should they be resolved? Elizabeth Howell (LSE) sets out three possible models. In the field of financial governance – the mechanisms that support the regulation and supervision of the financial markets – a number of UK/EU legal disputes … Continued

After Brexit comes the battle for the soul of British democracy

4 Feb

Opponents of Brexit cannot afford to lick their wounds for long. The UK now enters a contest for the soul of its democracy. It must now be reconstituted. Such a renewal might one day presage the UK’s return to Europe, writes Michael Cottakis (89 Initiative). Earlier this month, European Parliament Brexit Coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, visited the … Continued

Troubling and unnecessary: the problems of precedent in clause 26(1) in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill

14 Jan

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill includes a clause that gives ministers the power to make regulations with respect to the judicial treatment of retained EU case law after Brexit. James Lee (King’s College London) identifies four problems with this approach. The clause could easily be removed from the WAB with no impact on the government’s ability … Continued

‘Get Brexit done’: Johnson’s election win won’t allow the EU to move on from Brexit

8 Jan

Boris Johnson’s victory in the United Kingdom General Election has been welcomed in the European Union for the ‘clarity’ it is said to bring to the question of Brexit. However, the only certainty at this point is that, from early this year, the UK will no longer be represented in EU institutions. As Ferdi De Ville and Gabriel … Continued

Is each “illiberal” democracy illiberal in its own way?

28 Nov

Most of the world’s population lives in electoral democracies today. Yet in many respects, the successful spread of formal democracy has turned into a crisis of democracy. Trust in the political institutions of representative democracy – political parties, elections, parliaments – is in free fall in many of the established democracies, while many of the … Continued

Long read | Unsettled status? Vulnerable EU citizens may lose their UK residence overnight

27 Nov

Before the end of June 2021, EU nationals living in the UK need to apply for Settled Status (EUSS) in order to continue living and working here. Amelia Gentleman called the application process via the app the ‘’gateway between belonging and exclusion’’.  In this blog, Catherine Barnard, Fiona Costello and Sarah Fraser Butlin (University of Cambridge) claim that the importance … Continued

Whatever happened to Tory unionism?

24 Oct

When the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Theresa May was debated in the House of Commons many Conservative MPs argued that they could not vote for an arrangement that would treat Northern Ireland differently from Great Britain. The revised deal negotiated by Boris Johnson envisages far greater divergence within the UK, yet is far more popular among Conservatives. Jack Sheldon and […]

The new Irish Protocol could lead to the indefinite jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice within the UK

23 Oct

The infamous ‘backstop’ is gone, but the new Irish Protocol could lead to the indefinite jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union within the United Kingdom, writes Oliver Garner (British Institute of International and Comparative Law). The new Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union differs from the previous […]

Only a ‘reverse Greenland’ for Northern Ireland can resolve Brexit

11 Oct

Given the impasse over the future of the Northern Ireland border, argues Solon Solomon (Brunel University), the only solution is to implement a ‘reverse Greenland’ – where Northern Ireland would remain part of the EU. Boris Johnson recently tweeted a video of a baby making his first steps. He captioned it ‘Let’s get Brexit done’. Yet these baby steps post-Brexit […]

Boris Johnson’s alternative to the backstop explained

4 Oct

Since Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech, the position of the UK government has been that the UK should be outside the single market and the customs union after Brexit. At the same time, the UK government has committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement by not accepting any physical infrastructure at the Irish land border. As a result, the Brexit […]

Brexit is a chance to observe constitutional evolution in real time

3 Oct

To some, the UK’s unwritten constitution is an invitation to abuse, and Brexit has put it under strain. But Philip Allott (University of Cambridge) argues that its ability to evolve over centuries is a source of strength, and means that violent constitutional change is not necessary. Three things can be said of all human societies, from the family to the […]

Will of the people vs democracy: Brexiteers are turning into their own worst enemy

30 Sep

The ‘will of the people’ appears to have become a legitimating idea for the Johnson government to supersede representative democracy and the rule of law. Yet in giving the ‘will of the people’ such prominence, the Brexiteers have begun to behave just like their worst enemy, writes Pravar Petkar (LSE). The Brexit negotiation has seen an array of constitutionally significant moments […]

The Prorogation ruling has strengthened the political accountability of those in power

26 Sep

In this blog, Robert Brett Taylor (University of Aberdeen) examines the UK Supreme Court’s ruling on the Prorogation case. He explains what it means for ministerial responsibility, constitutional conventions, and Parliament’s ability to politically check government. Political accountability has been strengthened, rather than weakened, by the Court’s decision, he argues. On 24 September 2019, the UK Supreme Court handed down its judgment in […]

The Supreme Court judges are oiling the democratic machine, not telling it what to produce

25 Sep

The Miller2/Cherry case is not about judges seizing the policy agenda, whatever the critics of the outcome might say, writes Conor Gearty (LSE). In this decision the judges are oiling the democratic machine, not telling it what to produce. This Supreme Court decision is a telling illustration of why all populist authoritarians need to dismantle the independent judiciary. In March 1954, that […]

The Supreme Court ruling: why the effects test could help save democracy (somewhat)

24 Sep

It is hard to overestimate the political as well as the legal implications of today’s ground-breaking Supreme Court ruling, writes Tarun Khaitan (University of Sydney). It applied an effects-based test to the case rather than trying to establish the purpose of Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament. In doing so it created a brand new and sophisticated ammunition in the rapidly […]

Let’s not divide the Supreme Court into Leavers and Remainers: the need for a better understanding of our judiciary has never been greater

23 Sep

Judges sometimes disagree. What if the Supreme Court is split after this week’s appeal hearing on the prorogation of Parliament?  With 11 Supreme Court Justices sitting in this case, that could easily happen. Will Justices who find that the Prime Minister acted unlawfully in procuring the suspension of Parliament be labelled as ‘Remainers’ or even ‘Enemies of the People’, language […]

From ‘purpose’ to ‘effect’: a principled way to decide whether prorogation is legal

20 Sep

Anne Twomey argued on LSE Brexit that the Supreme Court should focus on the fact that Boris Johnson has lost the confidence of the Commons. Given that he has not yet lost a vote of no confidence, Tarunabh Khaitan (University of Oxford) says this is a problematic approach. Instead, the Court should ask whether prorogation is likely to have the […]

When is prorogation ‘improper’?

19 Sep

What would make Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament ‘improper’? Anne Twomey (University of Sydney) argues that the Supreme Court should focus on the fact that the PM has lost the confidence of the Commons – which is a breach of constitutional principle – rather than on the political advantages he might secure by shutting down Parliament. Prorogation is primarily a procedural […]

The Supreme Court should repair the tear in the fabric of the constitution that prorogation has opened up

17 Sep

The Supreme Court is considering whether Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament is lawful. Thomas Poole (LSE) says the claimants face two hurdles: one concerns the involvement of the Queen, the other whether prorogation is a purely political or a justiciable issue. He argues that the court should recognise that the power to prorogue has legal limits. On 28 August, the […]

Challenging prorogation: understanding the Court of Session decision and anticipating that of the Supreme Court

16 Sep

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (Queen Mary University of London) explains the recent Court of Session decision on prorogation. The Supreme Court may ultimately declare the issue to be non-justiciable – but it could then be possible for Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament for a much longer period. Legal cases are not always exciting. Yet some truly absorbing and significant litigation is underway, arising […]

Parliament’s role in the Brexit process: parallels with Israel and the Knesset

16 Sep

The suspension of Parliament in a ‘no-written constitution’ legal context has left the UK in constitutional limbo. In this blog, Solon Solomon offers some thoughts on the Israeli constitutional experience. He argues that Parliament should have a substantial role in the Brexit process, let alone be permitted to sit in the first place. On September 11, the Scottish Court of Session, Scotland’s […]

Prorogation of Parliament: the two court rulings explained

13 Sep

Martin Brenncke (Aston Law School) explains the difference between the two high court rulings regarding the prorogation of Parliament.  The Prime Minister‘s decision to advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament is a political decision. It is not subject to judicial review by the courts. Whether or not the timing and duration of prorogation constitutes an abuse of power by the […]

Who should ’take back control’?

12 Sep

Who should be in control of the Brexit process? In this blog, Nikos Skoutaris (UEA) explains the current dynamics of the UK’s constitutional conundrum.  Famously, the motto of the Leave campaign was ‘Take Back Control’. If we wanted to sum up the various constitutional challenges that Brexit has been posing we could say that most of them are precisely centred around the […]

Proponents of the new Bill to stop No Deal face a significant dilemma over Queen’s Consent

2 Sep

MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit intend to bring a Bill this week in order to do so. Robert Craig (LSE) explains why the existence of Queen’s Consent means that they face a complex legal Catch-22 in their efforts to stop the Prime Minister. This post will be updated when the MPs’ bill is made public. MPs who wish to […]

The next few days will reveal where the heart of power lies in the British constitution

2 Sep

The government argues that the courts have no part to play in the row over prorogation, and that it is a matter for Parliament and the executive alone. But what happens when the executive has suspended Parliament? Joelle Grogan (Middlesex University) says a constitutional crisis now looks imminent. On 18 July, I wrote on LSE Brexit that prorogation was a […]

What happens after a Vote of No Confidence in the PM? A route map

28 Aug

A successful Vote of No Confidence in the government is a seismic political event. It is also extremely rare. As a result, the rules governing the subsequent constitutional steps are perhaps less well understood than they should be. Robert Craig (LSE) attempts to set out a route map for what must happen after a successful VoNC in the light of […]