The Future of inter-institutional/constitutional issues in light of BREXIT

Date: 
08 March 2017
City: 
Brussels
Time: 
15.00 - 18.00

The European Ideas Network will debate the future of inter-institutional/ constitutional issues in light of BREXIT. The referendum, held on Thursday 23 June, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union resulted in a complete setback for the Prime Minister David CAMERON. Leave won by 51.9% to 48.1%, with a turnout of 71.8%, more than 30 million people voting. This unexpected result led to the resignation of Mr. CAMERON on the day after. The new Prime Minister, Theresa MAY, the former home secretary, promised to respect the will of the people. But how? By sticking to a «Brexit means Brexit» speech, MAY left a debate on what it would mean in practice, especially on the two key issues: how British firms do business in the EU and what curbs are brought in on the rights of EU nationals to live and work in the UK. After trigging the article 50, the government should enact a Great Repeal Bill which will end the primacy of EU law in the UK, incorporating all EU legislation into UK law in one piece. Then, the government can decide which parts to keep. If Theresa MAY triggers the article 50 by the end of March, as promised, the UK is expected to leave the EU by the summer of 2019. Meanwhile, a new government department has been formed by the veteran Conservative MP David Davies, the former defence secretary Liam Fox and the former London’s mayor, Boris Johnson - the Three Brexiteers. All of them supported the leave campaign and are now in charge of the negotiations with the EU that will establish a new settlement for the relations between the UK and the EU. The UK economy appears to have weathered the initial shock of the Brexit vote. However the uncertainty about the future might be holding the real impact of leaving the EU. Both sides want trade to continue, particularly those who depend on trade of goods and services, such as those in the City of London. For the latter, a comprehensive free trade deal would give better access to the single market. However, are the other 27 member states willing to grant access to their market to the City, as a treat? Finally, Scotland and Ireland. The leave result was seen as democratically unacceptable in Scotland, being taken out of the EU when all their constituencies voted to remain. Leaving is also believed to have a profound impact in Northern Ireland, threatening the whole island to vote on reunification.