Murkens, Jo Eric Khushal
The European Union act 2011: a failed statute.
LSE Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series,
Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
If there was one area in which the two coalition parties needed to produce a workable agreement as a matter of priority after the May 2010 election, it was the European Union. The European Union Act (EUA) 2011 builds on a political guarantee in the coalition agreement that there will be no transfers of sovereign powers until the next election (in 2015). That undertaking was intended to pacify the Europhobic wing of the Conservative party that had demanded but failed to get a national referendum on the hated Lisbon Treaty. As a result, the EUA contains all sorts of compromises: it delivers a referendum requirement, but not on the Lisbon Treaty; it affirms that the source of the validity of EU law is a domestic statute, but without mentioning the sovereignty of Parliament; it introduces constitutional safeguards, but without entrenching them against repeal by a future Parliament. Unfortunately, the EUA does not reflect the politics of compromise in a consensus democracy: it reflects dissent between the governing parties and within the Conservative party and, in most respects, is a compromised and failed statute.
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