Complex Constitutionalism in a Pluralist UK
By Colin Harvey
If constitutional pluralism is taken seriously, then voters of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland delivered a complicated message to the Westminster Parliament and Executive; hardly a surprise in a multi-national state. A complex message will no doubt also emerge from all the democratic institutions within the UK. There was a simple majority in the referendum for ‘leave’, of course. Concurrent consent was absent from Scotland and Northern Ireland (and, of course, Gibraltar). A close vote, such as this, was never going to terminate the constitutional conversation, and the decision on what to do now demands further democratic deliberation. People want to keep talking about the legal and political implications and requirements. If ‘leave’ had secured majorities everywhere the picture might be slightly different. They did not.