The British vote to leave the European Union came as a surprise and a shock. It has been understood as an aberration, as a triumph of populism and nationalism, in conflict with the ethos of the Union. But Brexit should not be understood as a mere aberration, but instead as one position on continuum of exhausted thinking about EU and (transnational) law in general. From the perspective of „pure“ legal theory, Brexit is self-referential, resulting from the internal dynamics of the system. It is a result of the general lack of legal and economic imagination as to how the EU should be reordered and reimagined.
European collaboration is both necessary and inevitable. It is one of the guarantors of peace and overall economic growth on the continent. The European Union is a remarkable achievement in numerous respects, but one that has since its inception slowly calcified. It has ceased to animate and inspire Europeans. The European Union project has already lost some of its appeal, both because of the ongoing Euro crisis and a long-term power shift to East Asia. The idea that the “European way of Law” serves as a model for the rest of the world has been undermined.
Europe needs radical change in thinking about governance. But Brexit is not a radical change, it is defeatism based on the existing spectrum of thinking. The discourse surrounding Brexit and the act of leaving the Union itself reproduces the daily European discourse: a discourse too focused on disaggregated sovereignty, border controls and participation in the system. This often misrepresents power relationships, arrests legal re-imagination, and contributes to the reproduction of existing hierarchies in Europe. Brexit thus reveals a lack of analytical clarity and a lack of vision to restart and reimagine the European project ...Zum vollständigen Artikel