With Brexit entrenching divisions, Britain’s patchwork constitution is being increasingly pitted against political upheaval. Do legal experts see crisis brewing?
Britain has developed an uncharacteristically laid-back attitude to constitutional change, with once-rare reforms to the UK’s ad hoc democratic settlement coming at a startling pace in recent years. The previous Labour administration ushered in varying degrees of devolution in Scotland and Wales, before in 2003 pulling the UK’s highest court out of the House of Lords and into the new Supreme Court (tacked on was reform of the Lord Chancellor’s historic role). The process of further EU integration under the Maastricht Treaty, not to mention Labour’s 1998 Human Rights Act, which gave domestic force to the European Convention on Human Rights, also had significant impact.