Second referendum ‘perfectly possible’, say top EU law professors on Q&A Reddit thread

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University of Liverpool experts use social media to spread their wisdom


There is “no obstacle” in law to the United Kingdom holding a second referendum on EU membership, according to a group of EU law experts from the University of Liverpool.

The experts were speaking on a Q&A Reddit thread titled ‘We are a group of EU Law legal experts researching Brexit. Ask us Anything’, which was organised and promoted by academics Michael Dougan, Thomas Horsley, Eleanor Drywood, Stephanie Reynolds, Harriet Gray and Andrew Woodhouse. They were asked a number of tricky legal questions about Brexit, whether it will actually happen, and whether the result can be reversed by a second referendum.

Interestingly, the Liverpool clan think this reversal is “perfectly possible”. Continuing, the academics said that a second referendum:

[W]ould offer the UK public the option as to whether they still wanted to leave.

However, Dougan — who notably set up an incredible out-of-office email response to stave off Brexit abuse — and co were at pains to point out that the real issue lies not in the law but in the politics of the issue. They explain:

The decision whether or not to hold a second referendum is a political one. The Prime Minister has recently indicated a commitment to honour the result of the June referendum: in her words, ‘Brexit means Brexit,’ so a second referendum is presently unlikely.

So — although Brexit legal challenges rumble on — the group behind the EULawAtLiverpool Reddit account were content to say:

[M]ost informed commentators believe [the chances of the UK making a valid Article 50 notification] to be a very high probability.

While the content of the Q&A was, at times, very technical, it’s interesting to see a team of lawyers reaching out to the masses and using social media in this way (the group is also spreading EU law love over on Facebook).

Speaking to Legal Cheek, the academics explained their decision to go online is driven by a desire to inform public debate. They explained:

It was clear in the referendum campaign that there was a lot of misinformation that wasn’t sufficiently challenged by the media. We hope to be able to help with this in the future.

They continued:

Reddit, and particularly the AMA [Ask Me Anything], offers a great platform for academics to help inform the public debate. It is clear from the interest that people want to know the facts on these issues. Our team will continue to seek ways to pass our expertise on to the public directly.”



He would say that wouldnt he. His bread is buttered with all sorts of sleazy EU money. The pencilnecks really think they will overturn the will of the profane, smug in their certainty their own blood won’t be flowing in the streets



Isn’t it reasonable to ask the people if they approve of the “new deal” the government has negotiated?



No dork!



No cry?



Clueless anti intellectual cretin


Just Anonymous

There’s absolutely nothing surprising or controversial about these remarks. Legally, a second referendum is perfectly possible.

However, as I’ve argued multiple times on Legal Cheek, anyone who considers this a realistic possibility of blocking Brexit doesn’t understand the distinction between a politically binding vote and a legally binding vote.



‘as I’ve argued multiple times on Legal Cheek’

Sit and think about what you’ve done.


Just Anonymous

I constantly have to deal with idiots, my country sucks at football and Margaery Tyrell can no longer claim the Iron Throne.

I need some way of cheering myself up!



TOP EU law professors

Can we have a fucking swear jar for the word “top” from now on?

Every time Katie uses the word “top” she has to pay a fine equivalent to one days tuition at a TOP journalism school.


Scouser of Counsel

Liverpool is the original redbrick university, a Russell Group member, and Michael Dougan is an Emeritus Professor from Cambridge University, so yes, for once “Top” is used appropriately!

And their observations make perfect sense- of course a second referendum is legally possible, but politically unlikely.



Whatever you say Katie



I don’t think Katie went to the University of Liverpool, cretin!



This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


‘a group of EU law experts from the University of Liverpool.’ Dougan aside, is that not an oxymoron?



Nah mate- an oxymoron is a spotty idiot- rather like your pubescent self.



No, it isn’t.



You obviously don’t get the joke.

Oxy was a brand of spot cream in the 1990s, hence Oxy Moron.



I am willing to accept bets on second referendum. If anybody is stupid enough to bet money it will go ahead then I look forward to parting those fools from their money.



Well, if you can tell us what Brexit means I might take you up on that offer. What are the odds?



reddit better than youporn


Deal with it bitches!

So what if it is legally posible! That is not an issue. No one said it was impossible. You think in your make believe world that the result would be remain if given another referendum. You thought that the deciding factor was the £350 million… Idiots… No wonder you did not see it coming!



Yeah it’s totally unrealistic to see the possibility of a 3% swing in votes… Because that’s *so* large…




Yeah, and you thought remain and you were wrong idiot. That 3% is more than a million people … But you are too stupid to look past how its presented via language. Chimp!


Cry me a river bitches!

Why could you not get a million people to protest the results if so important lol.


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