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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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
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

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

Respecting other nations and peoples requires respect for their independence and sovereignty. This means limiting the occasions when our laws are applicable to activities outside the UK.  The converse is also true, that our constitution should outlaw the enforcement of certain foreign laws. I suggest the following clause for the constitution : 'Except and to the extent set out further below: '- Parliament is not permitted to enact laws purporting to have effect outside the...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
Ian Smith

  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

Certain laws relating to defence, foreign relationships, fiscal management and fiscal accountability should remain established in some form within a writ ten constitutiIon.  This does in no way imply a withdrawal from the EU. Rather it should be at the heart of a potential constitution that individual members do have individually decided rights but also have responsibilities with regard to e.g. The European convention n Human Rights. That legislation, however defective on times, should be...

Gavin Russ
by Gavin Russ
1 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 13
Gavin Russ

There is no problem withe allowing international bodies or courts to make decisions which are then implemented in the UK as long as our constitution permits the curtailment of that -the ultimate right to recall sovereignty

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

  VERSION I: The text of the ECHR, including the protocols (amendments) to the Convention, could be directly incorporated into the constitution. This would mean that the Convention, in its entirety, would become part of UK domestic law.   VERSION 2: is the prefered version The rights protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and the protocols thereto are equally protected under this constitution.  The foregoing provision shall not prevent the state...

ConstitutionUK
by ConstitutionUK
4 Votes
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Comments 25
ConstitutionUK

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

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
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