Solidarity in the Eurozone

Published in the Bank of Greece Working Papers Series, January 2019.  Proposals for Eurozone reform aim to complete its institutional architecture bysecuring stability without creating moral hazard. Such policy arguments inevitablyrely, however, on implicit assumptions about justice, or on what is owed to whom. Acommon assumption is that member states are solely responsible for what happensto them. This paper, written from the point of view of public law and legal theory,asks if this assumption is correct. Continue reading


In March 2018 I was instructed by Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain, to work - with Jessica Simor QC - on a case based on my argument on the European Union Act 2011, which outlined in an article for InFacts here. The case was crowdfunded in Crowdjustice, and the relevant page is here. The case was complicated by the fact that at the same time the Withdrawal Bill was going through Parliament. In the end, the Government conceded that there would have to be an act of parliament before the Withdrawal Agreement was to be ratified . But at the same time the Government repealed the 2011 Act through an obscure clause in what became the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. I explain all this in the infographic below.  Continue reading

Losing to the EU: A Review of Varoufakis' Adults in the Room

Losing to the European Union: A Review of Yanis Varoufakis’ Book “Adults in the Room” Pavlos EleftheriadisDi 14 Nov 2017 A review for   Yanis Varoufakis, Adults in the Room: My Battle with the European and American Deep Establishment (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017) hardback i-ix, 1-550. Yanis Varoufakis’ latest book is a detailed account of his time as Minister of Finance of Greece and his struggles with the Eurozone crisis, a period which he describes as ‘the ruthless suppression of Greece’s rebellion’ (p. 1). Varoufakis’ story is both absorbing and well told. Continue reading


Should Britain have a referendum on the final Brexit deal?  Started 09/01/2018 Brexit means Brexit. It’s all very clear. Until you start drilling down into the details. Did 52% of voters in the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU Single Market? Did they vote to leave the Customs Union? Did they vote to rejoin EFTA? Did they vote to create a hard border with Ireland? Was it a vote in favour of the Norway option? Or the Canada model? Was it for “no deal” and a return to trading under WTO rules? At the best of times, interpreting referendum results and translating them into actual policy is a pretty thankless task. Political campaigns are always coalitions of different interest groups, so maintaining a fuzzy definition of the final outcome can help keep the coalition together. However, it also means that some of the people who voted in favour of Brexit are inevitably going to be disappointed with the result, no matter what it is.     Continue reading

Brexiters are Crazy to take Lessons from Varoufakis

Published by, 26.20.2017   David Davis is the latest hardliner to praise Yanis Varoufakis, telling MPs yesterday to read his recent book. Doesn’t he know that the former Greek finance minister’s antics nearly destroyed the country? Sadly, the UK’s current position towards the EU has come to resemble Greece’s strategy of 2015. At that time the newly elected Greek government was seeking a total renegotiation of the bailout deal of 2012. The Greek plan has been described in detail in Varoufakis’ book Adults In the Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment. It reveals two striking analogies between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Theresa May. Continue reading


Pavlos Eleftheriadis speaks to TRT World about President's Obama visit to Greece. He discusses the question of debt relief for Greece as well as anti-americanism and Prime Minister Tsipras' attitude to the US. He makes the point that Syriza's anti-americanism has its origins in Left wing aversion to US complicity to the dictatorship of 1967-1974, but that modern versions of anti-americanism are more cultural in nature and are associate with conservative withdrawal form globalisation, the open society and free trade. This is why Tsipras has chosen the far right as his government coalition partner.  Continue reading

Obstacles to Transitional Deal are Immense

Published in | 31.10.2016 Is a temporary agreement between the UK and the EU remotely likely? The need for a transition is widely talked about because people now see that disengagement from the EU requires two separate steps. The first step, withdrawal, will take two years. The second step, concluding a trade agreement between the EU and the UK as a third party, may take seven years. If there’s no bridge to fill the gap, the economy could fall off a cliff. Continue reading


On August 08, I spoke to LBC Radio London on the legitimacy and legality of a second EU referendum. My view is that a second referendum is legally required under the EU 2011 Act as well as constitutionally permitted under the standard principles of parliamentary democracy. I explain that the legitimacy of the referendum is based on the process and not the number of votes. This is one area where constitutional theory has become highly relevant to political practice.  The interview is now available on Soundcloud here.   Continue reading

Quoted by the BBC on EU Referendum

On 8 July, the BBC referred to my argument on the need for a second EU referendum. The BBC cites my blog post for the Oxford Business Law Blog.  In response to my paper, Mark Elliott from Cambridge states the obvious, which I had also stated, that the 2011 Act can be repealed, but he also implies, without argument, that the contrast the 2011 Act between 'amend' and 'replace' is without any meaning. Well, let us wait and see. The argument is largely technical, beause it turns on a novel distinction between 'amending' and 'replacing' treaties'. Moreover, these issues are mostly political, not legal. The legal background is important, but the decisions the UK needs to take in the months and year to come will be political, not legal. In any event, It is very nice to have one's work noted and discussed by the media.    Continue reading

No PM Sould Invoke Article 50 Without Parliament's Approval

by Pavlos Eleftheriadis | 29.06.2016 | published by  Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union provides that ‘any member may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’. It also states that if the withdrawal agreement is not concluded within two years of notification, the treaties ‘shall cease to apply to the state in question’. This means that at the end of the two years all rights and duties arising out of EU law for UK nationals and companies are extinguished. There is no other step. This is politically very significant, because merely by the passage of time the UK will lose access to the single market. Its products would thus begin to be subject to the common external tariff.   Continue reading