On Brexit
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On Brexit

Law, Justices and Injustices

Edited by Tawhida Ahmed and Elaine Fahey

Timely and engaging, this topical book examines how Brexit is intertwined with the concepts of justice and injustice. Legal scholars across a range of subjects and disciplines utilise a multitude of case studies from consumer law, asylum law, legal theory, public law and private law, in order to explore the impact of Brexit on our ideas of justice. The book as a whole aims to engage with the methodology, lexicon and explicitness of analytical perspectives in relation to Brexit.
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Chapter 7: Brexit and the siren-like allure of sovereignty

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott

Abstract

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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