International Relations

Are we a subset of Europe or is there something special about us?

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Can we really write a codified UK constitution whilst being a member of the European Union? Britain’s membership means that EU law overrides UK law when there is a conflict between the two. Given the intense debate about the EU and how it affects UK law, our rights and our borders, what does membership actually mean for UK sovereignty? We challenge you to write what the constitution should say about the UK's agreements with international organisations such as the European Union.


HAVE YOUR SAY...

Should the constitution say something about international relations?

What should happen if the UK were to pull out of EU? Would there need to be amendments to the constitution?

Do we need to write down mechanisms to ensure the deals made between the Prime Minister and other world leaders are more transparent? In particular the "special relationship" of the UK and the US?

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  1. Ian Smith
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  1. No corporation or private business entity may give money or support whether directly or indirectly to any political party or to any individual seeking election to public office. [Note: the viability of this clause depends on the constitution providing for the taxpayer funding of political parties and elections - see Taxpayer funding of elections at https://constitutionuk.com/post/98906] 2. Every elected Parliament, assembly or council and every civil service department must keep a...

Alastair Bruton
by Alastair Bruton
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 23
Alastair Bruton

Here is my suggested preamble clause for the constitution: 'It is in the interests of the UK that Europe and its nations are stable and secure' As I said before the reasoning behind this is: The constitution must recognise, at least in its preambles, that a stable and secure Europe is very much in our interests if not essential to our interests.   Imagine: - wars between countries close to our borders - a ban or high tariffs on import of British goods to the continent The...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 12
Ian Smith

The arrangements with other states should be governed by rules set out in the constitution. If parliament agrees a treaty with another state which involves the pooling of sovereignty for the purposes of trade (such as the European Union) or affects the independence of the state (such as membership of military alliances like NATO), this must be put to the people in a referendum.

James Doran
by James Doran
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 51
James Doran
Idea thumbnail

It is vital that the constitution acknowledges that Britain is committed to protecting the welfare of any and all human beings that are in need, whether they be in our own country, or elsewhere. The very idea that 'we' must look after only our own, above all others, is where it all started to go wrong in the first place. Charity does begin at home, but it shouldn't end there. A commitment to Humanitarian (or foreign) aid is key to ensuring this happens. Our constitution should also...

Rachel Allen
by Rachel Allen
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 51
Rachel Allen

My idea which I thought would be useful to debate here is that : " nobody should be forced to pay tax for anything other than self-defence of the UK ."

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
Ian Smith

Suggested constitution clause: 'The [UK] will negotiate treaties with other nations in good faith and will honour all of it's obligations under treaties (whether entered into before or after the coming into force of this constitution).  The Prime Minister will report to Parliament on annual basis regarding the [UK]'s compliance with this provision .' Idea behind the draft clause: If the UK signs up to a treaty with other nations, it must honour its commitments under that treaty...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 12
Ian Smith

We are certainly a proud island state but we should never forget that our island was once joined to the continent of Europe and that "we share more values  in common with our european neighbours than with the countries of other continents" facilitator's suggestion: this statement should be added in the Preambles of a constitution in this form " the UK acknowledges that it shares some common values with the continent of Europe" 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 14
Ian Smith

Here is my suggested clause for the constitution: 'It is the duty of the UK, through its government and other agencies, to ensure that: - It conducts its affairs with other states and their peoples ethically;  - It will negotiate with but not lend political, military or economic support to regimes which do not respect fundamental human rights of the kind recognised and promulgated by the United Nations.'   (This is not an anti-foreign aid idea as it would not prevent the...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
8 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 13
Ian Smith

Suggested constitution clause: 'The [UK] state shall not attempt to colonise or exploit any territory or sea of the world or unless permitted by treaty or agreement with a sovereign nation of the world who owns the territory in question.' We should enshrine limits to our use of the natural rresources of the world, including the oceans and seas of the world and the polar cap regions, effectively preventing the UK from attempting to colonise or exploit those regions.  And do the same in...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 7
Ian Smith

The Constitution should take account of the state of the world (for example climate change, global poverty, our capacity for violence, the continuing lack of adequate world governance with no improvement in sight at present). Because of improving communications the world is 'getting smaller' and because of natural greed the world is living far beyond its natural resources. For reasons such as these there should be a general presumption in the rules on international relations in the...

Alan Ray-Jones
by Alan Ray-Jones
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
Alan Ray-Jones
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