The UCL Constitution Unit is leading a team running a Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit, which will meet over two weekends, starting with the weekend of 8–10 September. The Assembly will consist of around 45 UK citizens, selected to reflect the diversity of the UK electorate. Alan Renwick and Rebecca McKee explain how the Assembly will work and what it is hoped will be achieved.
The Constitution Unit is leading a team of academics and democracy practitioners who will run a Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit over the coming weeks. As the name suggests, a citizens’ assembly is a group of citizens who are chosen to reflect the diversity of the population at large and who gather to learn about, discuss, and draw conclusions on some aspect of public policy. The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit provides an opportunity to shed light both on public priorities for Brexit and on the value of deliberative exercises in a polarised political context.
Ronan McCrea, Barrister and Senior Lecturer in Law at UCL, argues that the UK could be under the jurisidction of the European Court of Justice for longer than many Brexiteers may care to imagine. Any withdrawal agreement negotiated under Article 50 has to comply with the basic constitutional norms of the EU legal order, including fundamental rights. This could have significant implications for the UK’s negotiating position, as well as the status of EU citizens living in the UK.
Those concerned with protecting human rights have been vocal in their concern that the Brexit process will lead to a reduction in human rights protection in the UK. Indeed, part of the case presented to voters in favour of Brexit was that leaving the EU would allow the UK to be free of the duty to comply with the EU fundamental rights norms, including Charter of Fundamental Rights and the possibly expansionist interpretation of that Charter by the Court of Justice of the EU. As with so many elements of the impossibly multifaceted and tangled process of Brexit, the reality may be less clear cut. It is in fact likely that any deal concluded under Article 50 will be subject to a degree of obligation to comply with the rights contained in the Charter and the fundamental elements of EU law, and indeed, and obligation to satisfy the Court of Justice that such compliance has occurred.
Migration will play a central role in the June EU referendum. The UCL European Institute’s Uta Staiger and Claudia Sternberg explore which arguments, facts, and strategies the campaigns will deploy to swing the vote in their favour. This article gives an overview of our second guest editor week on the topic on openDemocracy.
Migration has emerged as perhaps the most prominent – and certainly challenging – issue for both the In and Out campaigns on British EU membership. Continue reading
The triumph of the principle of competition among and within European member states has generated a continuous aggravation of disparities, writes Etienne Balibar in a special long read. Not that the French philosopher allows this to stop him stubbornly envisioning a Europe other than that of bankers, technocrats and political profiteers.
Europe is dead, long live Europe? Since the beginning of a year in which elections were held for the European parliament (invested for the first time with the power to choose the president of the Commission), the paradoxes and uncertainties of the communal construction have hardly disappeared from the headlines.
On the one side, there are Cassandras announcing that paralysis and dissolution always threaten since none of the recipes applied have resolved the contradiction inherent to a political construction, the principle of which implies the antagonism of its members’ interests. Recession is now perennial; inequalities have grown between nations, generations and social classes; political systems are blocked; there is, on the part of the populations, a radical defiance toward the European institutions, toward the European construction as such. Continue reading