Brexit at Edinburgh Law School

On 23 June 2016, a majority of UK voters expressed a desire to leave the European Union in a referendum. Britain's pending exit from the EU involves a range of legal considerations.

Edinburgh Law School's academics are at the forefront of the debate about the UK's membership of the European Union and the implications of Brexit. They have been involved in a variety of ways from speaking to the media to giving evidence for government committees as well as publishing blogs, journal articles, and working papers.


See European Law, Policy and Institutions and European Private Law for members of our academic community involved in the research and teaching of EU law.

Networks and activities

Europa Institute

The Europa Institute at the University of Edinburgh is one of the most active and longest-established specialist centres of advanced study on European integration in the United Kingdom and Europe. The Institute brings together world-class scholars on EU law, politics and policy as well as supporting a vibrant community of early career research fellows and postgraduate students. It emphasises research, teaching, and the exchange of ideas with the wider world.

Find out more about the Europa Institute

European Futures blog

Many of our people are contributors to the European Futures blog.

You can find their blog posts at European Futures: Edinburgh Law School.

Scottish Universities Legal Academic Network on Europe (SULANE)

The Scottish Universities Legal Academic Network on Europe (SULANE) is a new joint initiative from Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh's Europa Institute, and Glasgow School of Law.

The network is co-chaired by Professors Jo Shaw (Edinburgh) and Noreen Burrows (Glasgow) and its core membership will consist of legal academics from Scotland's universities. Expressions of interest have been received from over 50 colleagues representing 8 different institutions.  

The creation of the network was prompted by the outcome of the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU held on 23rd June. One of the main objectives of SULANE will be to provide legal expertise on Scotland's future position following the vote to leave the EU.

For further enquiries or expressions of interest contact

Standing Council on Europe

The Scottish Government has formed a group of experts to advise on Scotland's relationship with the EU. Members of the group include Edinburgh Law School's Professor Andrew Scott, an economist and has for many years researched and taught European economic integration. He is Professor of European Union Studies, Dean International (Europe) at University of Edinburgh, and is Co-Director of the Europa Institute, and Professor Sir David Edward, Professor Emeritus who was a Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, 1992-2004.

Find out more about the Standing Council on Europe


Publications and working papers

Lock, T. (2016). The Human Rights Implications of the European Union Referendum. Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Shaw, J. (2016). Where Does the UK Belong?. (Europa Working Papers; No. 2016/04). Social Science Research Network (SSRN).


Providing evidence

Professor Sir David Edward, Dr Tobias Lock, and Dr Cormac MacAmhlaigh provided evidence on 'EU Reform and the EU Referendum: Implications for Scotland' for the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee on 17 December 2015. A video of the round-table discussion is available here.

Professor Sir David Edward provided evidence to the House of Lords European Union Committee on 'The process of withdrawing from the European Union' (HL Paper 138). See also 'Legal Experts Questioned on the Process of UK Exit from European Union' (3 March 2016).

Dr Tobias Lock provided evidence for the Lords Select Committee's visit to Edinburgh for a Brexit: Devolution inquiry on 30 January 2017. You can view a recording of the proceedings here

See also Edinburgh Law School Academics Inform the EU Referendum Debate 

Interviews and comment

Five Questions on Brexit to Jo Shaw (Verfassungsblog on Matters Constitutional)

Radio Gilbraltar and BBC Radio Scotland Interview with James Neish (feat. Jo Shaw)


Recent Blog posts from Edinburgh Law School

'Brexit and Direct Taxation: What are the Implications? by Dr Luca Cerioni and Ms Sandra Eden (European Futures)

'Brexit and Employment Law: A Bonfire of Red Tape?' by David Cabrelli (OUP Blog)

'Brexit: England's Opportunity is (Northern) Ireland's Difficulty' by Professor Christine Bell (Centre on Constitutional Change)

'Brexit Reflections: A European Future for Scotland?' by Dr Tobias Lock (Centre on Constitutional Change)

'Brexit: What Happens Next?' by Professor Stephen Tierney (Centre on Constitutional Change) 

'A European Future for Scotland?' by Dr Tobias Lock (European Futures)

'Filling the Void: The Brexit Effect on Employment Law' by David Cabrelli (OUP Blog)

'A Lame Duck Member State: The UK's Position in the EU after the Referendum' by Dr Tobias Lock (European Futures)