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Brexit and International Legal Sovereignty

Odermatt, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-6073-3033 (2020). Brexit and International Legal Sovereignty. In: Santos Vara, J. & Wessel, R. A. (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook on the International Dimension of Brexit. . Abingdon, UK: Routledge.


The debate about the UK’s membership of the European Union often revolved around the issue of sovereignty. These debates often focus on the UK’s internal, or Westphalian sovereignty (the absence of external rule) and ‘taking back control’. As the UK develops its own foreign policy, outside the Union, it will also be faced with questions related to international legal sovereignty the (juridical equality of states). This chapter explores how the UK’s withdrawal from the Union has also uncovered sovereignty questions for the UK’s international relations. It discusses the UK’s relationship with Palestine, Cyprus (Sovereign Base Areas and Northern Cyprus) and Western Sahara, as examples of how sovereignty questions arise through Brexit. It shows how the Brexit process is not only related to internal sovereignty, but also reveals the UK’s conception of international legal sovereignty.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter to be published by Routledge in The Routledge Handbook on the International Dimension of Brexit, available online:
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
K Law > KD England and Wales
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > Institute for the Study of European Laws
The City Law School > International Law and Affairs Group
[thumbnail of Odermatt_Brexit and ILS.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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