We voted to get back sovereignty, don't give up now, says ROBERT TOMBES

Queen in her carriage

The Queen will no longer be our sovereign if we give in to the EU (Image: GETTY)

What is sovereignty? The right to make a final choice. Centuries ago, this right was exercised by our monarchs in person, on the advice of their greatest subjects, and under the law of the land. They were God's anointed, nevertheless they needed the people's consent to rule. Then, from the 18th century, sovereignty was exercised in practice by ministers of the Crown, with the consent of Parliament, and the monarch played a more symbolic role. As our system became more democratic, between the 1860s and the 1920s, sovereignty passed to what in the Middle Ages was called "the community of the realm" - the nation, with the monarch the symbolic sovereign of a democratic state. But whatever form it has taken, sovereignty is always the same: the final say. Over the centuries, the consent of the people and the rule of law have always been regarded as essential to the proper exercise of sovereignty, which otherwise descends into tyranny. Philosophers called this the "social contract".

This is why, in a democratic age, it is right to have a direct vote - a referendum - to decide the basic rules. As in the European referendum of 1975, as in the Scottish referendum of 2014, the people decided. All was clearly explained and legally voted.

We thought the same in 2016: the sovereign people had the final say and their lawful decision would be carried out.

And now? EU President Donald Tusk proclaimed a few days ago his support for those marching in London to overthrow the referendum, and said that it was the duty of the European parliament, not the UK parliament, to represent them, as "they are Europeans".

When last month the Italian Interior Minister expressed similar support for the French Yellow Vest demonstrators, the French government actually withdrew its ambassador.

Donald Tusk

EU chief Donald Tusk proclaimed his support for the anti Brexit march that took place in London (Image: GETTY)

When the EU President claims the right to interfere in our politics and even usurp the role of Parliament, our government says nothing.

It could be argued that Mr Tusk is a posturing ninny who is best ignored.

But it shows precisely what the EU, and its allies in Britain, think: we are a rebellious province of their Union, not a sovereign nation which has voted legally to leave it.

We are not independent British subjects but disobedient European citizens. So a minority of "Europeans" outweighs the majority of Britons. Our Government and Parliament behave as subordinates of the EU.

They dismiss the referendum as an embarrassing mistake. Even political enemies are willing to cooperate when it comes to doing the bidding of Brussels.

Theresa May

MPs demanded to rule out a no-deal situation, to which Theresa May agreed (Image: GETTY)

Parliament has accepted that the EU can override its authority by changing our exit date, which MPs meekly rubberstamp after the decision is made.

MPs have demanded the Government rule out no-deal and Theresa May has agreed.

What this means is that they have placed the country, and the future of all of us, at the discretion of the EU Commission, because they have ruled out any course of action not approved by Brussels.

This has left us all with wholly unpalatable options. Either Parliament will be pushed into accepting Mrs May's Withdrawal Agreement - already rejected three times.

Or it will add on another layer of red tape, a customs union, leaving us a captive market for the EU to exploit. Both these mean Brexit in name only.

Or it may jump at the EU's condescending offer to grant us a long extension to the membership we have already voted to end. The obvious intention is that, sooner or later, we - like the French, the Dutch, the Danes, the Irish, the Italians and the Greeks before us - will accept that our days as a sovereign democracy are over.

So a popular vote means nothing - no more than an opinion poll.

If the possibility of queues at Dover or shortages of Mars Bars makes us afraid to assert our sovereignty, it has gone.

Then our rulers may make us vote again, and this time vote the way they tell us to - what they have the nerve to call a "confirmatory vote", confirming not our decision, but theirs. And that, they tell us, will be the end of the matter: the British people will have been put back in their box.

Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen would still wear her crown, but she would no longer be the symbol of the UK's sovereignty (Image: GETTY)

The Queen would still ride to Parliament wearing her crown. But she would no longer be the living symbol of our nation's sovereignty - our own ability to make the final choice regarding our laws, our rulers, our frontiers, our money.

Following tradition, the Commons will slam its doors in the face of the Queen's messenger as a sign of its independence. But what it is now doing is slamming its doors in the face of democracy.

'Government and Parliament behave as subordinates to the EU'

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