Populists chairing the European Commission and Parliament

No, the title of this post does not refer to a dystopia to come after the next European elections in 2019. It refers to the two presidents of today – Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz. Now why can they be seen as populists in some plausible way? In my view, this is because of the way in which they see politics and the role of the “people” in it.

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Sovereign and misinformed: Brexit as an exercise in democracy?

Rather than criticising the Brexit referendum as a decision-making tool because ‘the people’ don’t have the necessary expertise to take decisions of this magnitude, we should question the conditions in which many UK voters were called to express their opinion. They, like many all over the world, have seen the progressive hollowing-out of those basic rights that make voting the expression of the right to individual and collective self-rule in the first place.

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England’s Difficulty; Scotland’s Opportunity

Rather than arguing over when and how Article 50 TEU might be activated and by whom, or whether the two year clock ticking for exit can be stopped once started, we need as responsible citizens in a democracy to face up in good faith to what many of us regard as an appalling result, and coalesce around pressing for the quickest possible conclusion of the least worst option which still respects the actual referendum result.

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United no more: Constitutional Headaches ahead for the United Kingdom

Those who voted Brexit are now celebrating and singing ‘Rule Britannia’ in the streets. They are still dreaming. When they will wake up, they will have to face the facts: there is no Empire, and Brexit will not solve their economic problems. Immigrants will not be deported, and if foreigners decide to leave, this will not solve their problems either. One day, they will wake up to discover that the Kingdom is dis-United.

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Scotland Can Veto Brexit (sort of …).

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that she would veto any attempt by a future British government to effect the withdrawal of the UK from the EU following the referendum result. This has raised a flurry of questioning of whether this is actually constitutionally permissible. In this blogpost I will argue why I think it is; that is that the Scottish Parliament does, constitutionally, have the power to use the constitution to attempt to veto an attempt by a British government to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

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Brexit im europäischen Verfassungsverbund

Wer jetzt auf den raschen Vollzug der „Entscheidung“ vom 23. Juni drängt, tut dies im besten Interesse der Stabilität und der Sicherheit. Wer dagegen Zeit gibt, zur Besinnung zu kommen und richtige Konsequenzen zu ziehen, könnte dem langfristigen Interesse Europas besser dienen.

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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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Zwei Jahre sind nicht immer gleich zwei Jahre: wann beginnt der Brexit-Countdown?

Zwei Jahre gibt der EU-Vertrag einem austrittswilligen Land Zeit, mit der EU einen Austrittsvertrag auszuhandeln. Doch wann beginnt diese Frist? Und was, wenn das Land diesen Zeitpunkt mutwillig hinauszögert? Die Antwort lässt sich nicht allein formaljuristisch geben. Gefragt ist auch politische Klugheit.

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A European Future for Scotland?

The fact that Scotland voted with 62% for the UK to remain a member of the EU whereas the majority of the overall UK electorate opted to leave the EU, raises important political and legal questions. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that a second referendum on Scottish independence is on the table. What are the options for a continued EU membership of an independent Scotland?

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Five Questions on Brexit to LAURENT PECH

Middlesex Law Professor Laurent Pech on the limits if not perils of direct democracy when citizens to are asked to decide complex policy choices in the absence of a clear understanding of the available options and potential consequences of their vote.

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