The concept of Parliamentary sovereignty means Parliament is the supreme legal authority in the UK, it s not subject to any le

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The Keystone of the UK Constitution is the Principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty. Does this principle survive accession to Europe?  

The concept of Parliamentary Sovereignty means Parliament has the supreme legal authority in the UK.  It is not subject to any legal limitation within the UK as there is no overriding written constitution against which the validity of Parliament’s enactments may be tested.  It cannot be bound by its predecessors and may amend or repeal any previous enactments.   Parliament alone can make or dissolve any law, it can pass Acts of Indemnity and can also render retrospective legislation illegal and impose penalties on actions which were perfectly lawful when they were committed.

The European Union grew from the European Economic Community, which was created by the Treaty of Rome 1957.  It’s objectives included the development of economic activities and raising the standard of living. In l972, the UK signed the Brussels Treaty of Accession to join the European Union  and this Treaty was brought into force by Act of Parliament.  

The EU position dictates that EU Law takes precedence over UK Lawagreement.  However,  this is problematic for the constitutional principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty but if the objectives of the community are to be achieved  then this is essential. This had been made abundantly clear well before the United Kingdoms commitment to the Union.

The European Union functions through four principal interlinking institutions, each with its own individual role. The central decision making body in the union is the Council of Ministers which, consists of Ministers specialising in specific particular areas such as agriculture.  No directive can be issued, or amended, without Council agreement.

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The European Court of Justice is the guardian of these Directives and Regulations adopted by the Council. It makes decisions about whether individual States or Institutions are in breach of EU Law. The European Commission consists of 20 members chosen from various countries to work as civil servants who serve the community.   It proposes EU policies and presents draft legislation to the Council.

The European Parliament is made up of elected representatives from constituencies across the European Union for a fixed five-year term; it’s purpose is to advise the Council of Ministers on commission proposals.  


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