POSTS BY Jo Eric Khushal Murkens

The High Court’s Brexit Decision: A Lesson in Constitutional Law for the UK Government

In today’s Brexit decision, the High Court has delivered a tutorial on the UK constitution, exemplary in its clarity and reasoning. Its key finding: the government cannot take away rights that citizens enjoy in the EU and would be lost on withdrawal without involving Parliament. In failing to understand the constitution of its own country, the government was taught an embarrassing lesson today.

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A Disunited Kingdom: two Nations in, two Nations out

The United Kingdom is not a centralised state. It is a ‘family of nations’. There is a strong case for arguing that the referendum carries only if a majority of voters in all four nations respectively give their backing. England and Wales voted to leave, but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. Recognising that split is not a matter of shifting the goalposts after the fact. It is about respecting an established, indeed a compelling constitutional order.

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David Cameron is not a visionary, he is an illusionist

The UK Prime Minister proclaims EU reforms. But the reform steps he demands address none of the actual problems of the EU. Neither on the sovereign debt crisis nor on the refugee and migration crisis any proposals or solutions from Cameron are forthcoming. Instead, he focuses on comparatively insignificant issues that affect the UK. This explains the largely ‘open-minded’ response by most European leaders after the speech.

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A referendum on Britain’s EU membership is a sure fire way to encourage the breakup of the UK

David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on the UK’s EU membership if his Conservative party wins a majority at the British general election in May. Jo Murkens writes on the impact an EU referendum would have on the UK’s place in Europe and on the UK as a whole. He argues that the EU referendum debate highlights the extent to which the UK has failed to contribute to the EU’s political goals in key areas like the Ukraine crisis, and that the net effect of the referendum could be to weaken the unity of the United Kingdom itself.

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Scotland and the EU: Comment by JO MURKENS

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott’s reliance on Article 48 is far from persuasive on technical legal grounds (is it the correct legal basis to accommodate a new Member State?) as well as for strategic reasons (the negotiation process may well be dominated by the UK’s negotiating team pursuing its own agenda). But even if an independent Scotland’s continued membership in the EU were ‘smooth and straightforward’, Douglas-Scott provides no answer to the question as to what kind of member an independent Scotland would be.

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