A new Magna Carta? - Political and Constitutional Reform Contents



29  International Relations and Treaties

(1)  The Government -

(a)  shall conduct the international relations of the United Kingdom; and

(b)  subject to this Constitution and Acts of Parliament, has all necessary powers for that purpose, including the powers to maintain diplomatic representatives abroad and to receive in the United Kingdom diplomatic representatives from other states.

(2)  No draft treaty agreement concluded by the Government of the United Kingdom shall be ratified or become binding upon the United Kingdom, unless -

(a)  the treaty is laid before Parliament; and

(b)  within three months after it has been so laid, each House of Parliament, by resolution, authorises the Government to give consent for the United Kingdom to be bound as a party to the treaty.

(3)  A treaty is ratified and comes into force, under the terms expressed in the treaty, by way of the Great Seal of the Head of State being affixed in the office of the Clerk in Chancery.

(4)  For the purpose of this Article, the expression "treaty" means an agreement in writing, governed by international law, between the United Kingdom and another state or an organisation of which only states are members.

30  The European Union

(1)  The law of the European Union and the United Kingdom's obligations as a member of the European Union take effect in the United Kingdom only under the legal authority of Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament.[836]

(2)  An Act of the United Kingdom Parliament will lay down procedures to ensure the consent of Parliament and the United Kingdom people at a referendum to any new or amending European Union treaty that extends the objectives, competence or powers of the European Union.[837]

836   Currently sections 1 to 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 (as amended) provide the legal basis for European law in the domestic law of the United Kingdom. Back

837   Currently section 2 of the European Union Act 2010 provides for these procedures. Back

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Prepared 10 July 2014