#Brexiteers – what is “sovereignty”?

“Why do we let them (the EU) govern us (the UK)?”, asks the anti-NHS Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan.

So the question is simple, and aimed primarily at Unionists – so let us get straight to it.

Does England govern Scotland?

You see, the whole point of “the Union” (that is, the UK), is that we pool sovereignty. On domestic issues, Scotland governs Scotlabd; on “federal” issues, Scotland plays its part in a UK Parliament and a UK Government. Of course, this means it risks being outvoted and having decisions foist upon it with which it does not agree – but Unionists think that is fine because of the social unity, security and exchange of opportunity offered by the greater whole.

But then, the whole point of “the Union” (that is, the EU) is exactly the same. In the same way that Scotland influences the greater while within the UK (but can be outvoted), the UK influences the greater whole within the EU (but can be outvoted, although I cannot think of a major instance of this).

There are then complaints about the bureaucracy involved – but that is all to ensure maximum consensus. This applies both to the UK (with its frankly odd House of Lords, its British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and its Legislative Consent Motions – all of which defy logic, public understanding or both) and the EU (with its Council, Commission and Parliament). In each case, however, all decisions are made either by elected representatives or appointees of elected representatives on the basis of an independent administration and enforced by an independent judiciary. Therefore both the UK and EU are over-bureaucratic but are fundamentally triumphs of democracy over a history of distrust and violence.

So stop saying “They govern us”. No matter what the context is, “they” don’t. You govern yourself, noting that in the big wide world out there sometimes it is best to compromise within a greater Union to secure peace, fair play and ease of trade.

I appear to have answered the question…


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