The UK’s departure from the EU may be a matter of impression

Date01 June 2017
Published date01 June 2017
Subject MatterOpinions
The UK’s departure from the EU
may be a matter of impression
The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU) may be a matter of impres-
The impressions left by proponents of one side or another of the so-called debate, not
their arguments, which few could properly comprehend and that were often wildly overstated.
Impressions some have encouraged – however sotto voce – that a country of White
native English speakers is a paradigm to which ‘Brits’ should incline, despite the multi-
national, multi-cultural nature of our island being the product of our often abusive coloni-
alism of the past and of well-intended EU treaties signed with consent of UK voters over
the last 40 years.
Impressions – dangerous impressions – that the sometime indigenous population of this once
White nation is better than the rest of Europe (perhaps the world) and entitled to protect that
inherent good fortune by barriers against those born on the same planet less fortunate than they.
Impressions that as legislators we are superior to law makers of the treaty-based organizations
we have joined and whose laws we have helped to form and interpret.
The impression that the Conservative government needs no BREXIT plan to succeed and needs
show no generosity of spirit to any other nation unhappily these impressions may become
cauchemars if our neighbouring continentbars us from its economic, security and cultural harbours.
Impressions gaining clarity even from Conservative ministers that EU law, so reviled in the
arguments advanced to persuade people to vote for BREXIT, should now be approached a little
more sympathetically. On analysis, there are few identified EU laws that require immediate
destruction so that even the Conservative party has had to recognise that EU law did do much
1. This contribution originated as a chapter of the Britain in Europe Policy Report of October 2016 by Brunel University
London ( where it may be read online in its original form. It is published
here, in modified form, to bring it to a wider readership, by kind permission of Brunel University.
2. Editorial comment: Anti-European sentiment and politicking in the United Kingdom have been criticised in the several
editorials of this journal, namely, ‘Abolish the EU?’ – 2011/03; ‘Leave Sovereignty out of it’ – 2011/04; ‘The Threat to
Withdraw the UK from the Human Rights Convention or Darkness at Noon’ – 2013/03; ‘The UK, Turkey and the
Convention’ – 2013/04; ‘Saving Human Rights in England’ – 2014/04; ‘The Totalitarian Temptation, Deliver us from
Evil’ – 2016/01; ‘Easter 2016’ – 2016/02; BREXIT – ‘The Human Dimension and Demos’ – 2016/03; ‘The New
Disorder’ – 2016/04; ‘Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt ...’ – 2017/01. While these editorials inevitably reflected the
political views of the editor they addressed, more broadly, the question of how the law and in particular the criminal law
might function in an illiberal regime. This illiberal regime is arguably now a reality. In this lament for the passing of the
old order, the author warns against the temptation to become compliant to the point where lawyers accept or worse,
justify, unworthy laws and does so by referring below to the Wannsee Conference, for instance. This alone justifies the
inclusion of this short contribution in this issue.
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2017, Vol. 8(2) 104–107
ªThe Author(s) 2017
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/2032284417711557

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