Birmingham Law Schools academics are closely following the Brexit process. Following a highly successful workshop in June 2014, Graham Gee (now at Sheffield Law School), Luca Rubini and Martin Trybus edited a special issue entitled on ‘Leaving the EU? The Legal Impact of “Brexit” on the United Kingdom’ published in March 2016 as a special issue of European Public Law – just few months before the referendum on 23rd June took place.
The editors and authors were asking many legal, economic and political questions regarding its likely impact on the UK. How would this ‘once again independent’ country interact with the EU? What would be the impact on the business community and its regulation? How would third country status change the lives of UK citizens? What would be the consequences for the Westminster political process or the common law?
Many events unfolded since then, most importantly the referendum where a majority voted for the UK leave the EU. As the negotiations between the UK and the EU under Article 50 TEU are still in process, and the final settlement with the EU remains utterly unclear, the editors have realized that most of what was written in the contributions to the special issue remains fully relevant today, especially in light of the public debates at national and international level over the recent months. First research outputs after the referendum, focusing on various topics, such as the WTO legal status of the UK after Brexit, the implications of the Art 50 negotiations or the degree of protection of human rights in the UK, are being published. Important events to debate Brexit and its implications, for example on trade or health, have been organised.
Given its increasing relevance, the three editors have decided to repackage the European Public Law special issue into an e-book and offer it to the interested reader. This is particularly important because, as often happens, political debate seems to have been dominated by the short-term, even populist, dynamics of the UK electoral politics, rather than being based on a serious, fact-oriented evaluation of the benefits and costs of each option. It is against this background that this book specifically aims to contribute to a serious analysis of the reasons and especially the consequences of a possible Brexit.