Monday, 20 June 2011

The United Kingdom,A Sovereign Nation?

A sovereign nation is one which makes it's own laws.

Most people in the United Kingdom,including most politicians,regard their country as a sovereign nation.

Most believe they are ruled by the laws made by the parliament which they elect.

Unfortunately,that is not the case.

This is made clear in the Final Act of the Intergovernmental Conference on the Lisbon Treaty:

"Declaration concerning primacy

The Conference recalls that, in accordance with well settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union,the Treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Treaties have primacy over the law of Member States,under the conditions laid down by the said case law.

The Conference has also decided to attach as an Annex to this Final Act the Opinion of the Council Legal Service on the primacy of EC law as set out in 11197/07 (JUR 260):

"Opinion of the Council Legal Service of 22 June 2007

It results from the case-law of the Court of Justice that primacy of EC law is a cornerstone principle of Community law.

 According to the Court, this principle is inherent to the specific nature of the European Community.

 At the time of the first judgment of this established case law (Costa/ENEL,15 July 1964, Case 6/641*) there was no mention of primacy in the treaty.

 It is still the case today.

 The fact that the principle of primacy will not be included in the future treaty shall not in any way change the existence of the principle and the existing case-law of the Court of Justice."

*“It follows… that the law stemming from the treaty,an independent source of law,could not,because of its special and original nature,be overridden by domestic legal provisions,however framed,without being deprived of its character as Community law and without the legal basis of the Community itself being called into question.”


S O said...

You don't seem to understand legal affairs.

International law and multi- or bilateral treaties regularly require to be cancelled (or left) before national law may run effectively counter to them.
To accept such obligations is a voluntary and sovereign, as well as completely normal, act of a state. It does not question its sovereignty at all. Every EU member has not only voting power in return, but also the ability to leave the EU at will.

This is as much about loss of sovereignty as is voluntarily selling something the same as someone stealing from you.

Chuck Hill said...

US states persist in referring to themselves as sovereign states. We had a very unpleasant disagreement about that in the 19th century.

The real question is, do you have the right to secede from the union?

GrandLogistics said...

Hello Sven Ortmann,

the legal definition of a sovereign nation:

"The supreme,absolute,and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived;the intentional independence of a state,combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference."

No member of the European Union is a sovereign nation by that definition.

The people of the United Kingdom have never voluntarily submitted themselves to European Union law,they are largely hostile to the European Union into which they have been assimilated by means of deception and skullduggery on the part of certain politicians who exceeded their democratic mandate.


GrandLogistics said...

Hello Chuck Hill,

that is an interesting comparison,I know states' rights is a big issue over there but I don't know any details about that.
I will be putting up the European Union's definition of the role of member states' parliaments shortly,perhaps you could tell us how the two compare.

Technically the United Kingdom could withdraw from the European Union.
The problem is that all 3 major British political parties are Europeanist while most of the British people are anti-European.

The politicians promised a referendum on European integration then all 3 parties changed their mind when they realised the people would vote against it.

Imagine if the Democrats and Republicans decided that all Americans would in future be subject to laws made by the Organisation of American States but didn't bother to tell the American people that let alone to ask their permission.

That is what has happened to the United Kingdom.

As an old fashioned believer in democracy and the inalienable right to self determination,I cannot accept that.


S O said...

That definition is problematic for the UK anyway because of the lack of a written constitution that clarifies matters and because of the monarchy thing that turns a crowned person into the sovereign.

In Germany, the people are the sovereign.

All this doesn't change that the UK could leave the EU if it wanted, and all EU obligations would disappear.

The voluntary agreement to decide on matters jointly and to then enforce the joint decision does not mean a real loss of sovereignty.
It's a completely voluntary and temporary affair.

GrandLogistics said...

Hello Sven Ortmann,

that definition of sovereignty perfectly describes the status of United Kingdom before it joined the European Union - "the intentional independence of a state,combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference".

Having an unwritten constitution and a constitutional monarchy doesn't affect that in any way.

Membership of the European Union is not voluntary for the people of the United Kingdom,they were denied a promised referendum on the subject when opinion polls suggested they would vote against it.

If sovereignty is vested in the German people,does that mean they got to vote in a referendum before becoming subject to the provisions of the Lisbon treaty?


S O said...

Democratic representation is legally equal to direct votes, thus the British had a say on the EU; they could have created a contra-EU party and voted it into power.

This has to be accepted as legitimate because otherwise every oh-so smallish executive action that is not based on a plebiscite would be tyranny.

I am all for plebiscites on different topics, but we gotta accept that so far democratic legitimation comes primarily through representation.

Besides; even such petty things like arms control treaties would infringe sovereignty in your interpretation.
Your interpretation of sovereignty is in conflict with reality, especially with the acceptance that even a sovereign nation has to accept some constraints if it wants the associated benefits.
The UK wants the benefits of international cooperation of many kinds (from arms control to Geneva conventions to EU) and thus has to pay the price.
It may cancel its international treaty obligations (usually even immediately or with effectiveness after a few weeks), of course. That's its sovereignty.

It cannot free ride and have the benefits without the price, though.

That price is to not make use of its sovereignty in certain areas for the duration of an international agreement's effectiveness.

GrandLogistics said...

Hello Sven Ortmann,

handing over a nation's right to make laws to a foreign government is not an "oh-so smallish executive action".

The people have never given the political class the right to surrender authority over them to a foreign government.

It goes well beyond the democratic contract by which the people submit themselves to the will of politicians.

The British people have never had a say on the Lisbon treaty.

In 2005 they elected a political party which had promised in it's manifesto to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty:

That party then refused to hold a referendum,signed the Lisbon treaty and ratified it without the consent of the people.

That is not democratic legitamacy.

Arms control treaties do not give foreign bodies the right to rule over the British people without their consent and in violation of their right to self determination.

There is no benefit to the United Kingdom from membership of the European Union.
It has destroyed the historic freedoms,culture,traditions and institutions and economy of this country.

It is highly likely that membership of the European Union would be rejected if the people were ever given a vote on the matter.

Which is why the Europeanist political class refused to allow them a referendum.


Chuck Hill said...

Seems if this were really important to a majority of British citizens there would emerge an anti-European party.

The test is not, "Can the individual states pick and choose among law handed down by the central government?" It is, "If you find the central regime intolerable can you choose to withdraw?" When the US fought the Civil War it was because the states were not permitted to withdraw.

GrandLogistics said...

Hello Chuck Hill,

there is an anti-European party called the United Kingdom Independence Party (U.K.I.P.),before that there was the Referendum Party.

Like in the United States,politics here is dominated by the main parties,the Conservative and Labour Parties being the biggest with the Liberal Democrats being somewhat smaller.

The highpoint for U.K.I.P. was coming second in the European elections of 2009,beating the then governing Labour Party in to third place:

"With all the English,Welsh and Scottish results in,the Tories had polled 27.7 per cent,UKIP came second with 16.5 per cent,with Labour a dismal third on 15.7 per cent, down 7 percentage points,its worst ever result.
The Lib Dems had 13.7 per cent of the vote, with the Greens up by 2.4 per cent on 8.6 per cent and BNP on 6.2 per cent."

See here: