Jo Murkens

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    The Scottish and UK governments should beware the Ides of March

The Scottish and UK governments should beware the Ides of March

Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon will meet today to discuss the triggering of Article 50, which will begin the process of the UK leaving the European Union. Simon Toubeau and Jo Murkens assess the likely issues up for discussion, noting that if the two leaders maintain the direction they have taken, there could be a bumpy road ahead for […]

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    The Supreme Court ruling explained: The government requires primary legislation before it can change the constitution

The Supreme Court ruling explained: The government requires primary legislation before it can change the constitution

The Supreme Court’s ruling against the government is measured and restrained in tone – but it is the most important constitutional case the Court has ever heard, writes Jo Murkens. The Justices have ruled that the government cannot leave the EU without Parliament’s consent. And while they also declared EU membership a reserved matter and therefore one that must be […]

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    The High Court ruling explained: An embarrassing lesson for Theresa May’s government

The High Court ruling explained: An embarrassing lesson for Theresa May’s government

The UK government has indicated that it intends to appeal a ruling in the High Court that it cannot trigger Article 50 without a vote in parliament. Jo Murkens writes that the decision amounted to a ‘proper drubbing’ for Theresa May’s position and that in failing to understand the constitution of its own country, the government has been taught […]

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    British sovereignty post-Brexit: Why the Great ‘Repeal’ Act will actually weaken Parliament

British sovereignty post-Brexit: Why the Great ‘Repeal’ Act will actually weaken Parliament

Brexit was supposed to return parliamentary sovereignty. Instead it has brought about the most submissive, disempowered Parliament in modern history, writes Jo Murkens. The Great ‘Repeal’ Act will collapse the distinction between EU and national law, creating powers never expressly granted by Parliament. It will probably also enable the government to amend primary legislation without a parliamentary vote.

Brexit started with the […]

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    Westminster must choose between leaving the EU and retaining the UK

Westminster must choose between leaving the EU and retaining the UK

What is more in Westminster’s interest – to follow through the result of the referendum by leaving the EU, or to secure the survival of the United Kingdom? Jo Murkens continues his discussion on Britain’s constitutional arrangement arguing that the power-sharing with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland since 1997 has changed the UK constitution, allowing space for each nation to see […]

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    Brexit against the wishes of Scotland and Northern Ireland would violate the UK’s constitutional settlement

Brexit against the wishes of Scotland and Northern Ireland would violate the UK’s constitutional settlement

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has indicated that she intends to explore options to protect Scottish membership of the European Union following the UK’s referendum on 23 June. But is it really possible for one of the constituent nations of the UK to block Brexit? Jo Murkens writes that if either Scotland or Northern Ireland rejects leaving the European […]

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    The illusion of sovereignty: The UK should embrace its experience of power-sharing at home to play a constructive role in the EU

The illusion of sovereignty: The UK should embrace its experience of power-sharing at home to play a constructive role in the EU

One of the key issues in relation to the UK’s referendum is the extent to which EU membership undermines UK sovereignty. Simon Toubeau and Jo Murkens argue that this focus on sovereignty can nevertheless lead to misleading conclusions. They state that while the notion of parliamentary sovereignty lies at the heart of the Westminster model of government, this sovereignty […]

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    A referendum on Britain’s EU membership is a sure fire way to encourage the breakup of the UK

A referendum on Britain’s EU membership is a sure fire way to encourage the breakup of the UK

David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on the UK’s EU membership if his Conservative party wins a majority at the British general election in May. Jo Murkens writes on the impact an EU referendum would have on the UK’s place in Europe and on the UK as a whole. He argues that the EU referendum debate highlights […]

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    It is far from clear that Scotland’s transition to EU membership would be ‘smooth and straightforward’

It is far from clear that Scotland’s transition to EU membership would be ‘smooth and straightforward’

One of the main issues in the Scottish independence campaign has been whether Scotland would be able to make a smooth transition to EU membership post-independence and what terms it would be obliged to meet to do so. Jo Murkens writes on the legal framework, noting that it is unlikely that using the EU’s Treaty revision procedure (Article 48 […]

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Alex Salmond and David Cameron’s incoherent referendum plans mean that they are unlikely to get what they want for either Scotland or the UK.

An independence referendum is due to be held in Scotland in 2014, with another referendum being pledged by UK Prime Minister David Cameron on the country’s relationship with Europe in 2017. Jo Murkens and Peter Jones argue that in both referendums the options put before the electorate are likely to be exceptionally vague. The UK’s proposed new relationship with Europe […]

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The UK’s European Union Act is a good example of a bad law

Jo Murkens argues that the UK’s European Union Act of 2011 should be viewed as a failed statute. Amongst other flaws the Act does not truly empower the people and is legally inconsistent. If there was one area in which the two coalition parties needed to produce a workable agreement as a matter of priority after the May 2010 election, it was […]

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