Commonwealth of Britain Bill

From Academic Kids

The Commonwealth of Britain Bill was introduced by Tony Benn, who was then a Labour Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, first in 1991. It proposed abolishing the British monarchy, with the United Kingdom becoming a "democratic, federal and secular commonwealth", in effect, a republic with a written constitution. It has been read in Parliament a number of times since, but has never achieved a second reading. Under the bill:

  • The constitutional status of the Crown would be ended;
  • The Church of England would be disestablished;
  • The head of state would be the President, elected by a joint sitting of both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament;
  • Many functions of the Royal Prerogative would not be transferred to the President, but instead to Parliament
  • The Privy Council would be abolished, and replaced by a Council of State;
  • The House of Lords would be replaced by an elected House of the People, with equal representation of men and women;
  • The House of Commons would similarly have equal representation of men and women;
  • England, Scotland and Wales would have their own National Parliaments;
  • County Court judges and magistrates would be elected; and
  • British jurisdiction over Northern Ireland would be ended.


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