Constitutional Implications

Lead Academic - Dr Haydn Davies, School of Law

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Centre for Brexit Studies Constitution Image 350x263 - City hall This stream seeks to engage with the legal issues arising from the referendum result, predominantly focusing on the constitutional law questions. The uncodified nature of the UK’s constitution has meant that numerous questions arise following the referendum. This is a challenge that has not been faced before and raises a number of questions with regard to the uncertain constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom. As such, this stream takes a broad approach to the numerous questions that arise from the referendum itself, as well as the actions arising from the referendum. These issues may include, but are not limited to:

- The question of who will trigger Article 50 TEU. Is this a prerogative power or is Parliamentary approval required. This discussion will have a substantial focus and discussion in relation to the case of Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

- The Miller judgment also gives rise to a number of questions about the status of European Union law, as well as the European Communities Act 1972.

- The discussions of the Miller High Court judgment in the press, as well as the coverage in the run up to the Supreme Court case. There are discussions to be had on the challenges to the independence of the judiciary and the role of judges in the overall process.

- The impact on the principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty. Many commentators discussed this principle as being central to the desire to leave the European Union; there was a desire to “take back control” and “return sovereignty to Parliament”.

- The legal status of the referendum and its implementation.

- The role of Parliament in scrutinising the Government’s approach towards negotiations.

- The relationship between the central UK government and the devolved regions and the involvement that the devolved regions should have on the negotiation strategy. While there is a separate stream on this, there is overlap with overall constitutional questions.

Overall, this stream seeks to contribute to the overall discussions on current constitutional developments. The referendum result, and the actions following this, are providing some of the most substantial challenges to the UK constitution seen in modern times. This stream will engage in critique of these challenges and their potential solutions.