Where does sovereignty lie in the UK?

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  • Where does sovereignty lie in the UK?
    • Sovereignty lies w/ Parliament
      • Ultimate legal authority in UK
        • powers to pass laws on any subject
        • is NOT subordinate to any other body in law
      • Retains right to abolish devolved bodies
        • UK not federal state bodies have power but not sovereignty
      • Although judges can suggest an ammendment to a law - not legally binding
      • Retained sovereignty when we entered EU
        • UK allowed to repeal 1972 European Committes Act
        • can end UK's membership at any time
    • Sovereignty lies outside of Parliament
      • Legal sovereignty comes from political sovereignty
        • belongs to the people
      • Power of the executive growing
        • uses parliament to pass its legislation
        • parliament controlled by gov
      • Legal sovereignty = theoretical
        • e.g. wouldn't abolish Scottish gov against will of the Scots
        • referendums aren't legally binding but gov wouldn't defy will of the people
      • Globalisation makes sovereignty = less meaningful
        • more realistic to share sovereignty in order to maximise influence


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