EU

The impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland was dismissed by many Leave campaigners elsewhere in the UK as improbable. However, explains Prof Christine Bell, the speed with which Sinn Féin moved to trigger a poll suggests that the party with the most to gain may also have the least to lose by the gamble. 
 
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Following the victory for Leave in the EU referendum, Prof Stephen Tierney sets out the next steps in the constitutional process. 
 
Initially nothing: the referendum by itself does not change anything in legal terms. The UK remains a member of the European Union until it concludes negotiations on withdrawal, a process that will take at least two years. 
 
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The notion that English nationalism has played a causal role in the EU referendum debate has widely been both accepted and promoted. Alongside this is a portrait of two Englands; one progressive and cosmopolitan, the other populist and nationalist. Mike Kenny argues that this Manichean dichotomy is too stark and ignores a more complex reality.
 
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To understand the implications of Brexit for fundamental rights protection, it is important to distinguish between two legal Europes. Europe’s primary rights regime is the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a treaty drawn up by the Council of Europe, which is an older organisation than the EU with a much wider membership.
 
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As the EU referendum grows ever closer, the result grows more uncertain. But it is not just the result that remains in doubt. Questions about what happens after the vote remain unanswered – and, indeed, unanswerable. Much of the campaign has, understandably, focused on the external elements: the UK’s relationship with the EU and beyond, and the impact of both upon the economy. Limited time has been given to the ramifications of the vote for the relationships between the component nations of the UK.

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