Commonwealth of Britain Bill
The Commonwealth of Britain Bill was a bill first introduced in 1991 by Tony Benn, then a Labour Member of Parliament in the House of Commons and was seconded by the current Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. It proposed abolishing the British monarchy, with the United Kingdom becoming a "democratic, federal and secular Commonwealth of Britain", or in effect a republic with a codified constitution. It was read in Parliament a number of times until Benn's retirement in 2001, but never achieved a second reading. Under the Bill:
- The monarchy would be abolished and the constitutional status of the Crown ended;
- The Church of England would be disestablished;
- The head of state would be a President, elected by a joint sitting of both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament;
- The functions of the Royal Prerogative would be transferred 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 devolved National Parliaments with responsibility for devolved matters as agreed;
- County Court judges and magistrates would be elected; and
- British jurisdiction over Northern Ireland would be ended.
- The judiciary would be reformed and a National Legal Service would be created.
Under the 2010-2015 Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government, there was a petition submitted to re-read the Commonwealth of Britain Bill in Parliament - with no modifications from Tony Benn's original proposals.
- "Early day motion 1075 - COMMONWEALTH OF BRITAIN BILL". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- "COMMONWEALTH OF BRITAIN (Hansard, 20 May 1991)". hansard.millbanksystems.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29.