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Our own free country

In 2004 Defenders of the Realm collected over a million letters to The Queen asking her not to give Her Royal Assent to any further legislation that would diminish the freedom and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. The petition is based on the British Sovereign's constitutional covenant with the people to give them justice and defend their freedom.

If you feel strongly about the freedom and sovereignty of your country, Your Own Choice invites you to increase the number of petitioners by adding your name here.

There are a number of petitions on the Downing Street website demanding that the Government stand by their manifesto commitment to hold a national referendum on the EU constitution, now masquerading as the Reform Treaty. There is another petition at the Telegraph website. And there is also the British Declaration of Independence, which uses your signed approval to press MPs in Parliament to support British sovereignty.

We applaud all of these efforts to bring the will of the British people to bear on the government, which seems to be marching to the beat of an entirely different drummer. We recommend that you sign them all.

The British Constitution does not allow for the signing away of Britain’s sovereignty. Our sovereignty cannot be affected by the results of any referendum, but a referendum should shout loudly in the ear of the Government that we do not want to be part of a European superstate.

Today we learn of another avenue that may prove to be the most effective yet. Parish polls can be demanded of the parish council if the correct procedures are followed. There is no reason why you could not hold a parish poll demanding a referendum. Trevor Colman describes the procedures on the next page. The resulting publicity could help to push the government to do what we really want – free trade with Europe and the whole world and our own free country.

UKIP South West
Parish Polls Campaign

We now know the content of the current European Union (EU) Treaty/Constitution. Although the full text has not yet, officially, been made public, it is clear that this so-called ‘amending treaty’ contains virtually all the elements of the rejected 2005 EU Constitution.

Despite admissions by a growing number of Continental politicians (including the architect of the Constitution, Giscard D’Estaing) that this is the Constitution in everything but name, Blair, Brown and their Ministers insist it is not and therefore that it poses no constitutional implications for Britain. They are using this assertion to deny the British people a promised national referendum, pledged in the 2005 Manifestos of all three political parties. Yet again the British people are being deceived by their own politicians.

In July, 2007 Portugal took over the EU Presidency. The Portuguese First Minister has announced his intention to complete the agreement process on the Constitution at an Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC) in October of this year. We have, at most, three months in which to influence British agreement and affect the ensuing ratification by Westminster.

Between now and October UKIP in the South West intends to use all its resources and efforts to pressure our government to provide the promised referendum. If we fail the odds are that the Treaty will be ratified by Parliament, given the Royal Assent and further major areas of our independence will have been lost.

One of a number of initiatives UKIP South West has launched is the holding of ‘parish polls’ throughout the South West, by an alliance of groups including UKIP, asking the question ‘Do you want a referendum on the EU Constitution?’

We hope to be able to put together and work jointly with such an alliance of anti-EU groups with UKIP as the organising arm. The campaign will, however, be promoted under the name of Campaign Alliance for Referenda in Parishes (CARP). At the South West Counties Committee meeting on the 14th of July, 2007 it was agreed that an attempt should be made to organise twenty-five polls.

Briefly, parish polls are organised by invoking powers under the 1972 Local Government Act which allow six parishioners to sign a declaration asking for a parish meeting ‘on a question’. At the subsequent parish meeting if ten parishioners vote on a motion, supporting the ‘question’, the local District Council has to organise and run a ‘parish poll’ (referendum) on that question. The whole process, culminating in a poll on the final day, takes 35 days to complete.