Law, Justices and Injustices
Edited by Tawhida Ahmed and Elaine Fahey
Chapter 7: Brexit and the siren-like allure of sovereignty
This chapter argues that sovereignty is in a sense preliminary to justice. For taking control over a territory asserts a control over its inhabitants and jurisdiction to govern matters within it. In this way, matters highly pertinent to justice - rights, obligations, distributions of wealth, membership of that very society itself - may be determined by the body deemed sovereign, and alternative approaches rejected. It is therefore crucial that that the actor asserting the sovereignty to do these things understands what it means by this term. This is precisely what has gone wrong with Brexit. The UK is set to leave the EU - an action that will have a very profound impact on many parties, causing great injustice. In this chapter I explore why those arguing for Brexit on the basis of sovereignty misunderstood this concept, and why it forms an inadequate platform to justify breaking away from the EU. In this sense, the issues of sovereignty and justice cannot be separated.
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