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  • Titill er á ensku A Disunited Kingdom : the Legitimacy of Brexit in Light of the Devolved Structure of the UK
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    The tumultuous Brexit vote put the cohesiveness of the United Kingdom to the test by presenting each of its nations with an uneasy dilemma. In effect, the Brexit referendum acts as a catalyst from which the democratic competence of the modern United Kingdom’s asymmetric power-structure can be analysed when faced with abnormal political circumstances. The following thesis attempts such an analysis, executed with the aim of identifying any underlying democratic deficit existing within the union’s current devolved make-up. As such, it poses a number of constitutional questions regarding both the inherent democratic and judicial legitimacy of the 2016 Brexit referendum in light of the asymmetric devolutionary structure of the United Kingdom. The history and contemporary implementation of devolution is thoroughly researched, alongside a foundational understanding of democratic legitimacy through the philosophical works of Mills, Kant, and Aristotle. Upon its application to the events pertaining to the Brexit referendum, a number of democratic incompatibilities were identified, notably regarding Scotland’s national rights, the disruption of Northern Ireland’s peace process, and the referendum’s inherent input legitimacy. Due to exceptions stipulated by the Sewel Convention, Brexit possesses no judicial incompatibilities with devolution, with the notable exception of the violation of the Belfast Agreement of 1998 at the hands of the British Government. The methods by which this democratic process was implemented brings to light a number of constitutional flaws. A greater issue resulting in perpetual judicial uncertainties.

  • 23.6.2020

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