Support For Members Who Have Chosen Not To Take Their Seats
Mr David Trimble (Upper Bann, UUP)
Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the whole point of the Oath is to make a formal statement of acceptance of the current legal and constitutional structure, which the House embodies and within which Members have to work? Does he also accept that refusal to accept it and failure to take an oath—the only way it can be accepted is through the Oath of Allegiance, because, apart from the House and the monarchy, we do not have many institutions that cover the whole country and we do not have a written constitution that embodies that structure—are not just a mere technicality involving the monarchy, but a repudiation of that structure? As such, they ought to be an affront to the hon. Gentleman, just as they are to everybody else.