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Letter sent to the Editor of The Daily Telegraph 05/11/2009
As your leader indicates, a “new Sovereignty Act” is essential but must work in principle and in practice. However, it would be “phoney” if it did not provide where necessary in our vital national interests for the overriding of the European Communities Act 1972 and requiring our judiciary to enforce that clear requirement. It is certainly not “pathetic”. Indeed, such a real Bill would be totally consistent with present realities and our history. Furthermore in retrieving the economic chaos this Government has overseen, which includes the necessity, as David Cameron has recently stated, to repatriate our economic competitiveness as a vital national interest. There is no point in a Sovereignty Bill which cedes sovereignty. Indeed, David Cameron agreed to whip the Conservative Party in both Houses on a number of occasions to do just this, regarding business regulations which have cost the British taxpayer £44 billion over the past ten years.
On similar principles, to preserve our democracy and following the precedent of the Referendum Act 1975, we must preserve our ultimate democracy, including the right for the British people to express their views substantially on the following question: “Should the United Kingdom renegotiate the terms of its relationship within the European Union?” This provides a proper basis for renegotiation and is not “in or out”. If we do not follow these simple but real principles in Government we will be merely managing the United Kingdom as agents for the European Union in critical areas of government and not as a democracy, in line with the wishes of the electorate. People have fought and died for the “Great Principle” of democracy.
MP for Stone,
Shadow Attorney General, 2001-2003
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