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The United Kingdom and Legal Sovereignty

            The location of sovereignty has changed a fair bit in recent years, but in order to answer this question, others must first be asked. Firstly, what is meant by the term ˜sovereignty' and is this referring to political or legal sovereignty? Sovereignty is ultimate political power and the source of all authority. Legal sovereignty is the ultimate source of legal authority. It amounts to the source of all laws and legal power. Whereas, political sovereignty refers to the location of real political power. This shows us who actually makes the political decisions. These two types of sovereignty are quite different, showing us that the concept of sovereignty may not be as simple as it seems.
             The position of legal sovereignty in the UK has always been in Parliament. However, various bodies have challenged this in the past and present. The European Union (EU) have challenged this legal sovereignty a lot in recent years, which has led to some very notable examples. The UK and Ireland joined the EU in 1973, and in doing so agreed to the Treaty of Rome. This means that The European Community law has to be given primacy over domestic UK law under requirements of the European Community Law. An example of this was when a woman needed a lot of time off work in order to take care of her disabled child. Her employers refused to give her this time off, as is backed up under British law. She then complained to the EU, who overturned the law and granted her time off under EU law. This shows that Westminster has lost sovereignty over Britain. However, in the EU voting system, different countries are granted different amounts of votes in decisions, based on the influence of a country. The UK have one of the most amount of say in decisions, having 73 out of the 751 votes, third only to Germany, 96, and France, 74. Also, countries in the EU have the ability to veto, reject, acts. In 2011, David Cameron vetoed an act by the EU about a change to tackle the Eurozone crisis, saying it was not in the UK's interests.

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