From Greenland to Svalbard: Scotland’s quest for a differentiated Brexit

On 20 December 2016, the Scottish Government released its blueprint on how Scotland can remain in the European Single Market post-Brexit. From the governing SNP’s point of view, the paper can be seen as a compromise given that it does not advocate Scottish independence. Instead, it proposes that the best outcome for the UK as a whole is to remain in the European Economic Agreement following the ‘Norway model’. It recognises, however, that in the current political constellation this seems unlikely. So, it argues for the continued membership of Scotland in the European Single Market.

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Scotland, Catalonia and the Constitutional Taboo of Secession

The UK constitution does not allow Scotland to unilaterally secede in the case of Brexit – in that respect its situation is not unlike Catalonia’s. Given the political nature of the UK uncodified constitution, it is almost unthinkable that a similar judicialisation of politics will occur in the UK as it did in Spain. However, unless Westminster takes seriously into account the demands of the devolved administrations in the Brexit negotiations, there is a real danger that a serious constitutional stalemate will occur.

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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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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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Brexit, Identity, and the Rise of the Euro-Celts

EU law not only protect fundamental rights and freedoms, but also the national identities of the Member States. Perhaps for “Little England”, that is not enough. But after Brexit, who would protect the national identities of the other nations of the UK?

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Britain’s Neverendum on Europe

The UK Prime Minister has told us that the June 23rd vote will settle ‘once and for all’ Britain’s vexed relationship with Europe. I wouldn’t count on it. The current marathon is only beginning. The upcoming referendum has all the hallmarks of a ‘neverendum’: a campaign that tries to resolve an issue yet only succeeds in polarizing opinion yet further, guaranteeing its presence on the political agenda for years, if not decades, to come.

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A Tale of Two Exits: Scotland and Brexit

The EU referendum has become is a form of displacement activity, a chance for the English voters to affirm their Englishness. If England votes for Brexit and Scotland to stay in the EU, the question will be whether the other EU Member States would accept Scotland – perhaps in a confederation with Northern Ireland – as a new or continuing EU Member State or even as the continuing UK.

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Tausche Britannien gegen Schottland, oder: Volkssouveränität mal ganz anders

Ein Austritt des Vereinigten Königreichs aus der EU ist zur realen Möglichkeit geworden. Dies sollte eine Frage in den Fokus rücken, die sowohl im politischen als auch im rechtswissenschaftlichen Diskurs bislang keine große Rolle spielt: Was wird eigentlich aus den (Unions-) Bürgern? Mit Vollzug des Austritts leben Unionsbürger aus fremden Staaten, die sich in dem austretenden Staat niedergelassen haben, plötzlich außerhalb des Unionsgebiets, womit ihre Unionsbürgerrechte hier keine Geltung mehr finden. Umgekehrt mutieren die Bürger des Austrittsstaates im Verhältnis zu Rest-Union eo ipso zu Drittstaatsangehörigen, was zum Verlust des Unionsbürgerstatus überhaupt führt.Diese ungeheuerliche Konsequenz ist weder theoretisch noch dogmatisch hinreichend reflektiert. Im Fall eines „Brexits“ wird sie sich aber unmittelbar stellen. Dies könnte Anlass sein, das Verhältnis zwischen nationaler (Volks-) Souveränität und den Rechten der Unionsbürger zu neu zu denken. Ist der Unionsbürger nicht am Ende (auch) ein Souverän?

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