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UK Constitution

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the merits of a codified constitution for the UK. (96200)

A codified constitution that would authoritatively and definitely bind successive governments would signify a massive constitutional and cultural change in the UK and would represent a fundamental shift in the way in which we are governed.

The central tenet of our constitution is that Parliament is sovereign. It is the body whereby the will of the people is expressed via the general election and as such has ultimate authority. Codification would mean that Parliament was no longer sovereign and that the courts would become the ultimate arbiters of our constitution. Drawing up such a constitution would be a very significant undertaking and we are not convinced that there is a strong case to begin such an undertaking at the moment.