… There is absolutely no doubt that sovereignty ultimately lies with the people of this country, through the sovereign and her coronation oath.
Mr. Flynn: The Queen?
Mr. Grieve: Yes, it lies with the Queen through her coronation oath to her subjects. That is what the oath is all about. It is worth re-reading.
Lastly, perhaps I may refer to an argument which has been developed more outside this House than it has inside; that is, to ratify this treaty would be both contrary to Magna Carta and a breach of the Coronation Oath, which sprang from the settlement of 1688. I find many of those arguments extremely persuasive. We are no longer being governed, as our constitution requires, in accordance with the traditional laws of England.
But I have to say to those who think that that is an insuperable bar to progress on this treaty: forget it. The courts of this country have always had an acute political perception. I am quite sure that if it was ever taken to court, the acute political perception of the members of our judiciary would ensure that, no matter what facts were laid before them, they would conclude that Parliament could do exactly what it liked, even signing its own death warrant. Of course this treaty is not Parliament’s death warrant. It is just another instalment on the way towards it.
“The Queen now compacts with her people, and before them, to govern according to the laws and customs of her realm …”
She solemnly promised and swore an oath to govern by the laws and customs of our land.
The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep, so help me god.