THE TRIPARTITE IMPLICATIONS OF BREXIT: FRAMING LAW, REGULATION & JUSTICE

This paper considers the implications of Brexit as an interplay of law, regulation and justice, using a tripartite conceptualisation. First, as an EU Member State, the UK has been involved in EU law-making as EU ‘rule-maker’. However, within this first conceptualisation, in many instances, existing EU rules entrenched into domestic law will continue to apply, as an unique example of ‘rule-maker’ turned ‘rule-taker.’ Second, as a Third Country , the UK will inevitably become subject to what is referred to as the ‘Global Reach of EU Law’, becoming a ‘rule-taker’. Third, debates on Brexit indicate that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU present challenges to the post-Brexit EU-UK regulatory relationship and its subjects and objects. Where voids in regulation emerge, the likelihood of injustices emerge. This paper explores the methodological tools needed to assess rigorously this interplay between rule-maker, rule-taker and rule-void going forward, with respect to law, regulation and justice.

Human rights protection as justice in post-Brexit Britain

The paper explores how human rights protection is overlooked amongst the chaos that has befallen the UK in its complicated process of negotiating an exit from the EU. The protection of these rights has garnered attention, mostly because of the UK’s past behaviour towards accepting European human rights in its own domestic regime. There has been a noticeable resistance towards the two main sources of European human rights – the EU Charter, and the ECHR. Brexit now raises legitimate concerns about potential lacunas in the law surrounding human rights protection after withdrawal, and whether this will be “just” for the various stakeholders – EU citizens in the UK, British citizens in the EU, and any individual in the UK that would be subject to its domestic legislative system after Brexit. The paper discusses the definition of justice in the context of European human rights protection, to be addressed as part of the negotiations on post-Brexit Britain.

From ‘Old Wounds’ to Constitutional Uncertainty – Addressing the Impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland

The impact of the UK’s exit from the EU – Brexit – is likely to be felt in Northern Ireland in a unique way. The Good Friday Agreement, ending the decades-long ‘Troubles’ era, is presaged on mutual recognition of standards and free movement of goods, people and services between Northern Ireland (as part of the UK) and Ireland. This paper explores the politics of the Brexit process in Northern Ireland, drawing insights from both EU law and UK constitutional law, arguing that there are a number of constitutional conditions that make Northern Ireland’s status within the UK uniquely uncertain. Brexit lacks overwhelming support in Northern Ireland – NI voted decisively to Remain in the 2016 EU Referendum. An economically and politically disruptive ‘hard’ Brexit, overseen by a Conservative government supported by the Democratic Unionist Party, could inflame nationalists and threaten the NI peace process. Moreover, more fundamentally, the very status of NI within the UK is at stake

Brexit, Migration and Politics of Fear

On face value, the EU referendum concerned whether the UK chose to remain within or chose to leave the EU. Despite the choice to leave the EU, a major political fault line emerged between the ‘remainers’ and the ‘leavers’ that continues to dominate political life in the UK. The campaigns conducted by the two camps have been widely described as “fear” campaigns. Digging beneath the surface, many have identified that fears relating to immigration were significant. This paper offers a critical account of this fear. Employing scholarship that has interrogated the “politics of fear” and situating this within the context of gendered and racialized dimensions of borders, parallels are drawn between some of the campaign rhetoric and media portrayals on the one hand, and, law and policy relating to refugees in particular on the other, as an informative process in light of the potential that the described political fault line is likely to further restrictive immigration practices.

The Common Law’s Challenge: Employment Law & Brexit

‘Global Britain’ carries ominous or optimistic tones when considering UK employment law and policy after ‘leaving’ the EU. This presentation assesses the role of the common law in a ‘Global Britain’ (using the works of Bogg, Cabrelli, Collins and Countouris). Attention will be given to the country’s history of labour relations (such as the critical works of Kahn-Freund, Lord Wedderburn, Davies and Freedland, Collins, Deakin, Ashiagbor and Dukes) with the aim of assessing current trends in UK employment law and policy such as the emphasis on regulation for the benefit of small to medium sized enterprises as economic drivers. While the present trajectory is not encouraging for the retention of employment protections once EU law is no longer applicable, this discussion will attempt to point some foundation for the entrenchment and growth of employment rights at common law balanced with government initiatives to facilitate economic growth during what are anticipated to be difficult years.