Brexit and the Future of the United Kingdom
DCU Brexit Institute - Working Paper N.2 - 2019
17 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019 Last revised: 23 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 19, 2019
This paper explores the impact of Brexit on the UK’s constitutional settlement, most particularly within the field of devolution. The focus of this paper is on devolution, because I argue that the voices of the three devolved nations have been too much ignored in Brexit manoeuvres, especially given that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU Referendum. As Fintan O’Toole writes: ‘Brexit is an essentially English phenomenon’. This paper questions whether, in leaving one union (the EU), Britain may in fact destroy its own union (the UK). Do we have the constitutional materials to safeguard against this? This prompts the question: ‘Can the 19th century constitutional theory of the sovereign and unitary State be applied to the world of the 21st century?
Keywords: Brexit, Constitutional Settlement, Devolution, United Kingdom
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