Brexit and the Territorial Constitution of the United Kingdom
Over the last twenty years, the United Kingdom has undergone a programme of constitutional reform embedded in membership of the European Union (EU). Devolved legislatures and governments have been established in different forms in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The decision, following the referendum of June 2016, to leave the European Union has major repercussions on the internal constitution of the United Kingdom (UK) and its relationship with the Republic of Ireland. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU but have also expressed a preference for remaining in the United Kingdom; now they cannot have both. Control of competences coming back from the EU is contested between the UK and devolved governments. The lack of rules in the largely unwritten constitution means that there are no clear ways of resolving the resulting conflicts. The United Kingdom has become the site of a real-time experiment in constitutional change, in conditions of uncertainty.
June 2018 - Law and Society