Did Brexit change EU law?

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This paper investigates whether the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union changed EU law. Brexit necessarily animated the law related to and produced by Article 50 TEU. Did it also imprint on fundamental premises of EU law that will continue to shape relations between the Member States and the Union, and between the Union and the wider world? These questions are examined through the examples of the legal force of political decision-making and the legal nature of relationships with third States. At one level, it will be seen that Brexit restored the centrality of Union institutions and processes in the EU law-making that responds to exceptional situations. At the same time, however, it has distorted and/or displaced some of the vital checks and balances that would normally apply. A course correction exploiting a rounded understanding of the effectiveness of EU law and provoking coherent articulation of the legal coordinates of Union membership is urged in response.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercuab006
Number of pages40
JournalCurrent Legal Problems
Issue number1
Early online date25 Sep 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sep 2021


  • Brexit
  • orderly withdrawal
  • mutual trust
  • crisis
  • third state
  • membership
  • effectiveness


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