Brexit: A Note on the EU's Interlegality

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This study argues that Brexit is as much an internal UK crisis of law, identity politics and democracy as it is the EU crisis of integration. Does Brexit bring us a new insight into how the legal order of the EU and its Member States are interrelated? Does it throw a new light on the EU law’s ability to produce a sense of collective European identity and solidarity which transcends national borders and unite the cultural fragments which constitute its Member States? Using the notion of “interlegality,” and the cartographic mechanisms of “scale,” “projection” and “symbolisation,” this study draws attention to how EU laws and policies become inevitably distorted as they pass between legal spaces which are shaped by different scales of regulation. However, Brexit shows that these distortions do not on their own provide sufficient explanation for either the failure of the EU integration policies in respect to the UK or the success of the Leave Campaign in the 2016 referendum. To understand the double crisis which Brexit represents, we need to explore how the EU’s interlegality is shaped by the imbalance of power and authority which permeates the hierarchical structure of the EU. The paper ends by arguing that to minimise the excessive distortions and to maximise the integrative potential of the EU law, we need to envisage the EU’s interlegality outside its existing hierarchy of sources of power which create a primarily top-down flow of legal authority.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransnationalisation and Legal Actors
Subtitle of host publicationLegitimacy in Question
EditorsBettina Lemann Kristiansen, Katerina Mitkidis, Louise Munkholm
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameGlobalization: Law and Policy

Related projects

Reza Banakar & Martin Joormann

Lund University, Social science faculty


Project: Research

View all (2)