Ross Gazette Column: Our Sovereignty as a Nation

We are now down to the last three weeks of the EU Referendum campaign.  Amid all the fuss, two things have become fairly clear:  if the UK votes to Leave, there will be a hit to the economy, which could potentially last some time; while if it votes to Remain, we will have less control over immigration. 

But there is another issue, which many people would say is perhaps the most important of all:  our sovereignty as a nation.  What exactly is it, how important is it, and are we losing it to the EU?

Since 1689 supreme lawful power in this country is exercised by Parliament—or more strictly, the Queen-in-Parliament.  In this core sense, nothing changed when we joined the then-EEC. 

Parliament passed the European Communities Act 1972, and Parliament can still repeal that Act whenever it wishes to.  Indeed, this is exactly what is at stake now.  The Referendum itself demonstrates that our core sovereignty remains alive and well.

But the UK did deliberately trade some “working” sovereignty at that time for influence as a member of the EU.  As a result, EU law now trumps UK law, where they conflict, and no statute can change that unless Parliament repeals or amends the 1972 Act.

There is a further threat to our working sovereignty from the new EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, whose influence looks set to expand; but whatever the outcome of the Referendum I believe this can be addressed. 

All the key Referendum information is on www.jesse4hereford.com.

My fourth and final EU Referendum public meeting is at Ewyas Harold Memorial Hall, 10.30 am on Saturday 11th June.  All are welcome!

Please remember that to vote in the Referendum, you must be registered to vote by 7th June.  Anyone aged over 18 by 23rd June is eligible.