In This Review

Complexity’s Embrace: The International Law Implications of Brexit
Complexity’s Embrace: The International Law Implications of Brexit
Edited by Oonagh E. Fitzgerald and Eva Lein
CIGI Press, 2018, 352 pp.

To understand what Brexit really means, throw away your newspapers and podcasts and read this book instead. Pro-Brexitpundits and populist politicians proclaim that the situation is simple. Two years ago, they told British referendum voters that Brexit was about reclaiming democracy, sovereignty, and identity. Yet the British government’s effort to implement the voters’ will has revealed the opposite: Brexit has created an almost unfathomable amount of complexity. Millions of EU rules and regulations govern industrial trade, farming, banking, intellectual property, consumer safety, the environment, human rights, energy, and much else. Brexit means the United Kingdom must first rewrite all these rules and then realign them with those of the EU and 180 countries across the globe in order to maintain economic relations with them. In this book, a group of European legal specialists examine the practical issues the British are up against, covering topics as varied as what regional electrical grids are permissible under EU law, how to manage bankruptcies of multinational companies, and which types of parody the EU’s intellectual property rules allow.