Follow the example...

Other states with consitutions do not have an issue with being a member of the EU which has a supreme status over national law - why should it be an issue for us? France actively ensures its constitution is compatible with International Treaties, and we can do the same.

We have already surrendered part of our sovereignty by acceeding to the EU and ratifying the ECA 9172, a constitution should merely echo these provisions. 

Facilitator's suggested clause:

"The adoption of this constitution does not affect the status of those Treaties by which the United Kingdom is already bound, or its membership of the international organisations created under those Treaties.

However The consent of the people (in a referendum) must be given to any change in this status.

As a separate tclause but this would have to be organised:

"The people of the United Kingdom recognise that there are many advantages to working together with the peoples of nations across the world.

To this end, sovereign powers may be delegated to international organisations for the purposes of trade, mutual defence or other mutual benefit. "

 

 

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edited on Apr 16, 2015 by laure roux

laure roux Apr 8, 2015

This is a sensible statement, particularly considering that the UK can stil,if it wants, leave the EU. I think is related to the debate around sovereignty. please find the idea that we decided should lead the debate on this matter ( we combined it with other ideas already) about "real sovereignty" . It may be in opposition though with this idea of real sovereignty but it is still interessting to share your views on how this matter. Maybe your two ideas can be reconciled? https://constitutionuk.com/category/#/post/85078

could also explicitate your idea:

- should there be a provision mentionning that the UK will ensure that its constitution is compatible with Interntional Treaties - (this echos Iansmith1's ideas about honouring treaty obligations? https://constitutionuk.com/category/#/post/99012) 

- do you want that an explicit provision appear in the constitution mentionning that the UK is a member of the EU and therefore recall the fact that some competences are exclusive to the EU and cleary state these competences.

- would you rather see an introductory provision and the existence of a full section on the UK membership to the EU, How it works...

In my opinion, there should be a section devoted to the UK's relationship with the EU that should reflect the current state of affairs: the UK shold respect and honour its membership, the UK still has the right to repeal the european comunities act and human right act and leave the EU (I don't think the consequence of this should be envisaged in a consitution though ), the UK consitution is compatible with the values and principles explained in the TEU and TFEU ( a special application of the idea that the UK should honour its treaty obligation...)

laure roux Apr 12, 2015

"We have been unable to make contact with the community member who originally submitted this idea and there have been no edits to their submission so far in the refining phase. With only one week remaining this idea has now been taken under the stewardship of the project facilitators for this challenge (the original idea authors are invited to resume ownership of the idea at any point). We will now work to redraft the original submission in line with your comments and suggestions. We will make no substantive contributions to the actual idea content, but instead will seek to clarify and make more concise the original submission. Please do use the comments below to offer suggestions on specific wording and to guide us on which suggestions should take priority (by voting comments up/down)."

 

Tom Austin Apr 12, 2015

I'm not so sure the EU should get a special mention, especially not if we are to agree that, "The EU has a supreme status over national laws" Should we not rather, when talking about 'laws', stick with identifying the particular court?

Rob G Apr 12, 2015

I'd disagree with you there, Tom. It's not that the CJEU has a particular status, because it hardly ever decides a case. It is EU law that is superior (because all 28 states have signed up to it), but the special genius of the EU framework is that it's national courts that decide cases. The CJEU advises the national courts on what the EU law is / means where they are unsure, but it's then down to the courts here to apply the law to the facts. There's no right of appeal from a British court to the CJEU as there would be to a "superior" court.

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Rob G Apr 12, 2015

Personally, I wouldn't want to list all the international organisations the UK is a party to, or even all the Treaties and Conventions we've signed up to, in the Constitution (though as an aside, it might be useful to have a readily-accessible list of them somewhere!).

I think there would be value in saying that the people of the UK see the value in playing a full part in the international community, and that at times that might require a pooling of sovereignty. In the post on Real Sovereignty that Laure referred to, I suggested a clause along the lines below, and I still believe it would be a sensible approach to take.

The people of the United Kingdom recognise that there are many advantages to working together with the peoples of nations across the world. To this end, sovereign powers may be delegated to international organisations for the purposes of trade, mutual defence or other mutual benefit.

Personally, I'm not a great fan of referendums - I think there's too great a likelihood of the electorate wishing to  "give the government a bloody nose" rather than vote on the narrow issue. I recognise, however, that that doesn't seem to be a popular view, so it might be sensible for the following to be added to my proposed words:

From the date this Constitution enters into force, the consent of the people must be given in a referendum before such delegation becomes effective.

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laure roux Apr 12, 2015

You are right. I tried to respect what she wanted to say and I knew I was going to get comments as sonn as I would frame her idea.

Please find above a new suggestion.

Rob G Apr 12, 2015

Glad your cunning ploy worked ;)

laure roux Apr 12, 2015

Also I know this idea overlaps with the debate around sovereignty but it she wanted her will for the UK to remain in the EU to be apparent this is why it should stay as a standalone basis and maybe this idea will be combined with other ideas regarding sovereignty later in the process.

Rob G Apr 12, 2015

 

Does the wording you've suggested not actually default to withdrawal from the EU? We adopt the constitution, and from that point we're on the way out of the EU until a referendum determines otherwise...

Personally, I'd prefer something that maintains the status quo as the default. Maybe:

The adoption of this constitution does not affect the status of those Treaties by which the United Kingdom is already bound, or its membership of the international organisations created under those Treaties.

Perhaps with a reference to the clause explaining how the UK can join and withdraw from such organisations? Or even have this as the final section in such a clause?

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laure roux Apr 12, 2015

what about this?

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Tom Austin Apr 12, 2015

I like it, but I would  'prefer' that "mutual benefit" should precede the examples; trade, defence etc.

Rob G Apr 13, 2015

Sorry, missed the change you'd made in the initial text!

I'd avoid "should" - it suggests "but not always". How about:

The consent of the people must be given to any change in this status.

Possibly adding "in a referendum" after "people"?

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