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European integration and the European Union Act 2011: an irresistible force meets an immovable object?

Peers, S (2013) 'European integration and the European Union Act 2011: an irresistible force meets an immovable object?' Public Law, 58 (1). pp. 119-134. ISSN 0033-3565

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A succession of five major amendments to the Treaties establishing the European Communities, and now the European Union, have been ratified by the United Kingdom following a parliamentary vote. To the critics of these Treaty amendments, their entry into force represents a further incursion of Lord Denning?s infamous "incoming tide" of European integration into British law. As a response, the European Union Act 2011 ("EUA") now provides that, in future, any comparable Treaty amendments would need to be approved by a referendum of the British people, and many secondary EU acts will be subject to enhanced parliamentary control.1 Will the Act stem the incoming tide of European integration for the foreseeable future?or will it rather demonstrate, like King Canute did, that such tides simply cannot be stopped? This paper considers the answer to this question, first of all summarising the EU framework for Treaty amendments and the United Kingdom?s prior legal framework for controlling them, and then analysing the details of the Act and its implications. Although the Act also provides for approval of the latest amendment to the Treaties (a Protocol relating to the number of Members of the European Parliament),2 and for an explicit rule concerning UK sovereignty in relation to the European Union,3 the focus of this paper is the impact of the Act on the United Kingdom?s relationship with the European Union, and the broader implications of the Treaty amendment provisions of the act on the British constitution.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Constitutional law; EU law; EU legislative process; European Union; Parliamentary sovereignty; Referendums; Treaties
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 21:27
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:19

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