The Magna Carta Society
The objective of Defence of the
Realm has been to make a case for the constitutional
repudiation of the United Kingdom’s membership of the
There are, of course, other means by
which the UK’s membership of the EU may end - the
government of the day might withdraw its ambassador and
void the treaties with the EU; the EU might collapse or
throw us out (equally unlikely); parliament might vote
for repeal of the 1972 Act; private prosecutions of
government ministers for treason might be successful.
Any one of these events would have much the same
practical effect as we seek.
Whichever event prevails, we argue
that there are other actions, legal and otherwise, which
need the urgent attention of those in a position, and
with the knowledge, to take them.
1. Determine how best to test in the
courts the claim that European law is
"supreme" in the United Kingdom. This is the
first step towards ultimately proving the illegality of
EU law in the UK.
2. Examine the direct conflict
between the oaths sworn by privy counsellors and EU
commissioners. At the very least, we advocate that those
who have taken the commission’s euro should be
publicly stripped of their status as privy counsellors.
3. Examine the constitutionality of
the three separate attempts currently being made by
parliament acting under instructions from the EU and the
European Court of Human Rights to interfere with the
oath of attestation made by all members of the armed
forces. The first involves the setting up of an embryo
European Army, and passing command to a foreign power,
the second proposes giving the ‘right’ to junior
ranks to sue their commanding officers, and the third
interferes with the setting and interpretation of
standards of behaviour likely to be detrimental to the
efficiency of the forces. In all these actions
parliament appears to be exceeding its authority and
compromising the sovereignty of The Queen.
4. Examine the issue of citizenship
(Article 8 of the Maastricht Treaty - "Citizenship
of the union is hereby established"). British
citizenship (we prefer the term "subject of the
crown") is a birthright. Citizenship is not in the
gift of a self-appointed foreign institution, which in
any event is unaccountable to the British electorate
and, we argue, has no standing here.
The notion of dual citizenship,
implied under this Treaty, is nonsensical. Across the
world, applications for dual citizenship are entirely
voluntary. Furthermore, the European Union is even now
only an association of sovereign nation states. It is
not in itself a state, much as it might like to pretend
otherwise. It is impossible to be the citizen of a
non-state. At the very least, therefore, that legal
anomaly needs to be disputed in the courts, with the
outcome providing individual subjects with a practical
and effective means of rejecting so-called citizenship
of the EU, and all its pathetic paraphernalia - passport
covers, driving licences and the like.
5. Examine the constitutionality of
the 1975 referendum and the referendum proposed on the
euro, both of which concern changes which appear to have
been forbidden under our constitution and, if possible,
instigate proceedings to have them set aside.
6. Investigate the case against all
the plenipotentiaries acting under the royal prerogative
and who signed the Treaties of Rome, Maastricht and
Amsterdam on behalf of the United Kingdom, and who may
be held to have exceeded the powers granted to them.
7. Test the legality of all new EU
legislation, directives and regulations, as attempts are
made to introduce and enforce them. To date,
insufficiently vigorous opposition has been applied.
There are major battles ahead, including: the euro and
tax harmonisation, weights and measures, a European
defence force, Europol and Corpus Juris. As the EU
attempts to enforce its policies and law on the UK,
contrary to Magna Carta, the Declaration of Rights, and
common law, each and every one must be disputed to the
utmost of our resources and will-power.
8. The restitution of the
constitution will release an avalanche of cases of
maladministration, involving whole industries (fishing,
for example) and many thousands of individuals and
businesses, and going back over many years.
The desire for an immediate and
gigantic bonfire of EU inanities will need to be
balanced with an equally important desire to achieve
rapid but orderly abolition of (now) illegal
regulations. An immediate moratorium on enforcement
seems the most practical and desirable first step.
The vital issue of making good the
damage suffered by the people will come a close second.
This might perhaps be addressed in much the same way as
restitution and reinstatement was handled after the
second world war, with the state leading a programme of
national re-building. What redress do the people whose
livelihoods have been damaged or destroyed over the last
30 years have against government ministers and
enforcement agencies past and present? And how can it be
delivered quickly and fairly, without time-consuming and
expensive civil proceedings? It is possible that justice
itself will demand that the state foots the bill.
We urge that a powerful independent
body be set up as a matter of the highest priority and
charged, primarily, with determining the best means of
achieving rapid and equitable redress for all those
affected by the enforcement of EU law, regulations,
directives and judicial decisions in the UK since 1
9. Investigate the constitutionality
of actions and decisions concerning the EU taken or
authorised by all the prime ministers, their
administrations and enforcement agencies, since 1972.
Consider what legal response is now appropriate.
Further examine the past actions of
ministers and officials who exceeded or may have
exceeded the authority delegated to them by the people,
and who attempted to defy the clear intentions of the
constitution of the United Kingdom. The investigation
should specifically consider what liability attaches to
all or any of these people who, like all of us, are
subject to the law and not above it, and whose past
actions paid no proper attention to the common law.
10. The people are sovereign. The
monarch is the embodiment of that sovereignty. So it was
and still should be. But these tenets of the
constitution have been seriously threatened by the
erosion of the checks and balances between the
sovereign, the houses of parliament and the people - an
erosion which has been insidious, lengthy and allowed to
thrive by the negligence of the people, who have failed
sufficiently to exercise vigilance.
It was 473 years after Magna Carta
that a further treaty became necessary between sovereign
and people. Today, 312 years have passed since the
Declaration of Rights.
Events of recent years, and the
momentous issues raised in this document, convince us
that a new and historic re-affirmation of the rights of
the people is now essential - a confirmation of
liberties between the monarch and the people. It should
re-state the true relationship between sovereign, the
two houses of parliament and the people, re-establish
the checks and balances between them, and re-affirm the
covenant between sovereign and subjects.
A Declaration for the next thousand
years based on the rights, freedoms and customs of the
British people for the last thousand years. Nothing else
This document was researched and
written by the founding members of
The Magna Carta Society. First
published 6 April 2000
The Hereditary House of Peers
By happy co-incidence, The Magna
Carta Society’s proposed petition to The Queen via the
hereditary House of Lords comes at a time when the
re-establishment of that distinguished House is under
By accepting and dealing with our
petition, the hereditary House of Lords will be the
first estate of the realm to grapple with the great
constitutional issues raised by the European Union, the
first to give a hearing to the concerns of the people
(after more than 25 years of waiting), and the first to
have an opportunity to put the EU’s constitutionality
in the UK fully to the test.
They will also be the first estate of
the realm to acknowledge, in the context of our
relationship with the EU, the birthrights of the people
as laid down in common law and enshrined in the
constitution. They will be seen to be doing their duty
under the first document of our constitution - Magna
Carta - both by the people and by the sovereign.
It was a group of hereditary peers
who forced King John to sign Magna Carta in the first
place, and by so doing took the initial steps towards
creating our constitution. Thus their support today is
steeped in history and represents another few steps on
the same road.