Proposals for a written Constitution
in Writing the United Kingdom Constitution
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This chapter reviews some of the many attempts that have been made in recent times to devise a written Constitution for the UK. It begins by looking at proposals made in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Charter 88 and the Institute for Public Policy Research before examining in more detail the suggestions made in three ‘illustrative blueprints’ produced by King’s College London for the House of Commons’ Select Committee on Political and Constitutional Reform in 2014. These are a Constitutional Code, a Constitutional Consolidation Act and a Written Constitution. The constitutional significance of the Brexit referendum in 2016 is then considered and there is discussion of whether the government had to obey the will of the people and whether Brexit could in law be triggered by the government or only by Parliament. The chapter concludes with an account of the steps being taken to enhance dialogue between the central government and the devolved governments in a post-Brexit era. The difficulties engendered by the withdrawal legislation as far as the devolved administrations are concerned are also addressed and views about the need for a written Constitution at this time are aired.

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