Pretence: Why The UK Needs A Written Constitution

pretence book cover

The moment of Brexit (2016-20) singularly challenged the UK’s unwritten constitution. Some blamed Theresa May and Boris Johnson for implementing the referendum result. Others – including Austen Morgan, a barrister and writer – criticise parliament and the supreme court more fairly.

'Pretence: Why The UK Needs A Written Constitution' takes up the idea in the 2019 conservative manifesto, and shows how a reforming government could begin to codify the rules by which the state runs, in place of the Gilbert and Sullivan flummery which dignifies the reality of political power.

Discussing Europe, devolution, judicial review and human rights as contemporary political issues, the book even begins the process of finding agreement by the peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with the author’s own suggestions for a preamble to a new constitution.


Austen Morgan is a barrister in London and Belfast, practising from 33 Bedford Row Chambers. Austen practises private law and public law, especially with international aspects. He advises from chambers in London, but also appears in Northern Ireland courts. Austen has a special interest in the constitution of the United Kingdom, on which he has written and lectured extensively. He also writes on the UK constitution:

Tuesday, 25 July 2023

11:00 - 11:45 BST


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    Austen Morgan
    33 Bedford Row Chambers
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    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Z/Yen Group