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Legislating for the Long Goodbye: How might Parliament handle the Brexit process?

On 23 June 52% of the people who voted chose to leave the EU, while 48% chose to remain, on a turnout of 72%.  The new Prime Minister, Theresa May, in acknowledging the result has said ‘Brexit means Brexit’.  But it remains unclear what this tautology actually means, and whether the UK will ultimately opt for (or have forced upon it) a hard or soft version of Brexit, the Norwegian or Canadian or some other model. The role which Parliament will play in shaping, scrutinising and legitimating the details of the final deal is going to be crucial; with a small government majority in the Commons, and none in the Lords, Parliament cannot be taken for granted.  To guide us through the legislative and scrutiny options available to the two Houses we have two senior officials, Paul Evans, Clerk of the Journals in the House of Commons, and Christopher Johnson, Principal Clerk of the EU Select Committee in the House of Lords.

Starts: Sep 15, 2016 1:00:00 PM

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Fact-checking and the EU referendum

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The EU referendum was the most fact-checked referendum of all time, yet voters were badly misinformed on key issues. In this post Zander Goss and Alan Renwick consider the effectiveness of fact-checking during the referendum. They conclude that, although fact-checkers were unable to overcome rampant misinformation, fact-checking must be embraced. Some suggestions are offered for […]

New Zealand needs a new written Constitution

Thursday, 18 August 2016

The New Zealand Constitution, like that of the United Kingdom, is not written down in one place. In a forthcoming book former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler will argue that this is not good enough and propose their own draft Constitution. In this post Sir Geoffrey Palmer explains why […]

What does ‘Brexit means Brexit’ mean (if anything)?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Theresa May has been clear that ‘Brexit means Brexit’. However, Brexit could mean a number of different things. In this post Sionaidh Douglas-Scott writes that there are no legal or political reasons why Brexit negotiations must take any particular direction. The electorate voted only to leave the EU, not for any particular exit agreement. On […]

The future of electoral reform: the importance of the personal dimension

Friday, 12 August 2016

On 26 July the Constitution Unit held a launch event for a new book by Alan Renwick and Jean-Benoit Pilet on the ‘personalisation’ of electoral systems. At the event Alan Renwick outlined the book’s key findings, which were then discussed by electoral experts Justin Fisher, Darren Hughes and Roger Scully. Zander Goss reports on the event. There […]

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