UK Liberty

Principles

Posted in accountability, politicians on liberty, state-citizen relationship by ukliberty on March 6, 2008

David Miliband (Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office) | Hansard source

This important debate raises fundamental questions about our parliamentary democracy, and about the role of Parliament and its relationship with the people. In our system of government, we do not have a legal test for whether we should hold a referendum, but we do have a clear principle, based on precedent and for many years supported by all the main political parties. Where there is a shift in power of a fundamental nature, it must be put to the people. That is the question that I want to address today. However,

“every time we have such a referendum it is, in a sense, an abdication of responsibility by the House and the Government of the day. This Government intend to make no such abdication of their responsibilities; nor do they intend to invite the House to abdicate from its responsibility.”—[ Official Report,
21 February 1992; Vol. 204, c. 627.]

Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley, Conservative) | Hansard source

When the Foreign Secretary fought the 2005 general election on a manifesto that promised a referendum on the issue, did he put out a personal statement saying that he was opposed to the holding of that referendum?

David Miliband (Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office) | Hansard source

No, I did not.

 

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