‘The day of the constitutional lawyer has come’ says Prof Dougan

Avatar photo

By Will Buckley on

Liverpool Uni law lecturer gives evidence to House of Commons Treasury Committee on all things Brexit


The law lecturer of the moment, Michael Dougan, professor of European law at the University of Liverpool, this morning gave evidence to the a Commons Select Committee, and according to twitter was, as expected, a complete star.

Eleanor Drywood, a senior lecturer in law at Liverpool Law School, tweeting:

And Marianna D’arcangelo tweeting:

Announcing that the “the day of the constitutional lawyer has come” he made a number of telling contributions to the debate.

First, there will be no way of joining the European Economic Area (EEA) without huge political and economic consequences. And to do so the UK would need to avoid a possible 32 vetoes (Swiss, 3 European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, 27 EU countries and the European Parliament.)

Second, the claim that section 112 of EEA might allow the UK to exempt itself from free movement legislation Dougan derided as “an armchair lawyer’s argument”.

Third, he explained that his “main worry is it is a job that cannot be done by parliament alone, and requires enormous delegation of power to executive”. And with members of the executive resigning on a daily basis goodness knows who will be left standing to take on the workload.

Finally, and intriguingly, he said he had been informed that the French legal service has told the French government that it would be possible for UK to trigger Article 50, and then revoke it at a later date

The Prof has spoken: Even when you think the debate on Article 50 might finally be over it could just be lying dormant before sparking back into life. You can pull the trigger on Article 50 but you can never completely kill it off.