Parliament should have a greater role in negotiations with Europe and third countriesby George Peretz / September 3, 2018 / Leave a comment
It is now commonplace to observe that Brexit is putting the UK constitution under unbearable strain. One of the most obvious ways that it is doing so is by calling into question the allocation of powers between the Crown and parliament when it comes to dealing with the EU and, in due course, with other countries with which the UK will need to negotiate trade agreements after Brexit.
The traditional British model of making and implementing treaties is that they are negotiated and entered into by the Crown (i.e. the government) under the royal prerogative. Parliament has only two roles: it can pass a motion of no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government if it dislikes the treaty, or it can refuse to pass the legislation necessary to make the changes to domestic law that treaties usually require in order to be ratified. (In general, and in contrast to some other European countries, treaties have no effect in UK domestic law unless and until parliament changes the law.)