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Irina Bogdanovskaya

Constitutional Law Consequences of Brexit: Sovereignty of Parliament or of People

2021. No. 3. P. 231–253 [issue contents]
The exit of Great Britain from the European Union (Brexit) has actualized a lot of political,economic and legal issues. The latter issues include the relevant aspects of European law, as well as national, first of all, constitutional law. Constitutional aspects of Brexit touch, from one side, the theme of revising and renovating traditional principles, including parliamentary sovereignty principle, and from other side, emergence and development of new institutions like referendum. Indeed, the British referendum of 2016 aboutexit from the European Union has become a legal base for the Brexit procedure. The implementation of this procedure has demanded a solution to a number of doctrinal constitutional issues, first of all about the priority of people’s sovereignty that was expressed atthe referendum, and about the position of the British parliament. The principle of parliamentary sovereignty for centuries determined the specifics of constitutional institutions of that state. The institute of referendums historically was not accepted in Great Britainexactly as a reason of contradiction between principles of parliamentary supremacy and principle of direct popular voting. However, the practice of referendums took place inthe United Kingdom since the end of 20th century, especially ones connected with entry of Britain in the EuropeanUnion and with her exit from it, turned to be a reason for the British constitutional doctrine to research and clear once more a modern understanding of parliamentary supremacy principle. Even more important problem was to elaborate ways and means of coexistence of both principles. It was necessary to answer the following questions: if parliamentary supremacy still exists in its traditional meaning, or ithas a sense to change content of that principle for inclusion of the people’s sovereignty into the British constitutional law; what is correlation of parliamentary and people’s sovereignty in modern law as a whole. Because of the traditional British legal continuityway, for sure, it was impossible to wait for a full refuse from parliamentary sovereignty principle in favor of the people’s sovereignty. The compromise was reached at the stage of Brexit itself. As a consequence, we see that in the present time traditional parliamentary sovereignty principle is maintained, but in the same time contours of referendum institute development in the British constitutional law are designed.
Citation: Bogdanovskaya I. (2021) Konstitutsionno-pravovye posledstviya brekzita: suverenitet parlamenta ili naroda? [Constitutional Law Consequences of Brexit: Sovereignty of Parliament or of People]. Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshey shkoly ekonomiki, no 3, pp. 231-253 (in Russian)
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