Legal questions; Adding the UK as a state.

Disclaimer; no, I don’t think any of the events in here are going to happen, or are even likely to happen, so please, no politics.

Ok, imagine that the UK government (including the Scottish parliament, Welsh Assembly, etc.) decides that it wants to become the 51st state of the U.S… As far as I can tell, this requires that the UK government become a republic, which would mean a restructuring of the election process and parliament, and getting rid of the monarchy. Assume this is all agreed on.

So here’s my first question; according to the full faith and credit clause, other states as well as the federal government are required to recognise the laws and statutes of other states, with the exception of matters relating to public policy. Does this mean that the UK’s membership of the European Union could be kept and so recognised?

Second question; the legal currency of the UK is pounds sterling. Would this need to be changed to U.S. dollars when becoming a state?

Third question (don’t worry, it’s the last one); Suppose the UK recognises a nation in law that the U.S. does not. Due to the full faith and credit clause, would this mean that the U.S. implicitly also recognises said state?

Short answers:

  1. No, not in any meaningful sense. States don’t get to conduct foreign policy.

  2. Yes.

  3. No. See reason above.

I do hope these inconvenient issues won’t delay the statehood petition. If it’ll help, I think we can arrange for you to keep the Union Jack as your state flag. (Although Hawai’i might be a bit peeved at that.)

To expand on Random’s answers, states are not allowed to have treaties with foreign governments. From Article I of the U.S. Constitution:

Interesting question about the nobility: I don’t know whether you’d have to revoke the titles of your current nobles, or if they could be grandfathered in somehow. (You can’t grant any new titles, but can you keep the old ones you already have?)

Actually, the wording of Article 1 leads me to question whether we couldn’t keep our existing treaties, alliances, confederations, etc. It would seem to prohibit just establishing new ones.

More likely titles would simply ceased to be recognized. The Duke of London could still call himself “Duke of London”, but his driver’s licence, voter registration, passport, etc would simple say John Smith-Doe. Queen Elizabeth II could be given a pension (as Liliuokalani after Hawai’i was annexed) thought she’d probally just move to a Commonwealth Realm.

We aren’t entirely without precedent here – the Republic of Texas lasted for a good nine years before being annexed to the United States. During that time, Texas signed treaties of recognition and commerce with several European nations including the Netherlands, Britain and France. As far as I know, those treaties ceased to have any validity after Texas joined the Union.

Presumably the restructuring also includes the governance of the Church of England, with ripple effects into the Anglican communion worldwide. Getting people to buy into a restructured governmental system is one thing - telling the CoE that the General Synod and Ecclesiastical Courts no longer enjoy official status is another. Though I would think that they wouldn’t really mind getting away from having the Prime Minister choosing their bishops.

The Republic of Vermont, which actually lasted longer (14 years) provides another data point. It had a written constitution, and appointed a few ambassadors.

The Kingdom of Hawai’i lasted decades, Hawaii become a unified state in 1810 and was recognized by European powers in the 1840s.

Meanwhile, at the Governor-General’s estate in downtown Ottawa…
Governor-General Jean: She’s coming here? Permanently? And this residence is going to be called Rideau Palace from now on?

And in Toronto, at the SunspaceBunker:

Now, at last, I can put my nefarious plan to become Duke of Toronto into action…
:: evil chuckle ::

Basically, the principle is that states have to recognize the actions of other states. The United Kingdom prior to its union with the United States is a independent nation not another state. So the laws that existed prior to its statehood don’t automatically carry over. And the United Kingdom was the entity that joined the European Union and signed various treaties. If the UK became a state, then the United Kingdom would cease to exist as a nation and those treaties would also cease to have any hold on it. As a practical matter, if this were actually to occur, there would have to be a major transition to reconcile the laws of the United Kingdom with the new laws of the states of England, Scotland, and Wales.

I don’t care about all that silly legal stuff. What I want to know is how they would celebrate Independence Day!

Revolutionary war reenactments after serving lots of iced tea in boston?

Funny, that’s the conversation that popped straight into my head too.

Australian GG: You mean that I have to move out of my lovely harbourside mansion for her?

What would happen to the Crown Dependencies like the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands? IIRC they aren’t part of the UK, but ‘belong’ to the Queen* through separate lines of descent.

IOM as a tax haven, the New Hong Kong of Europe?

[sub]* The Queen is lord of them. You know what I mean.[/sub].

I believe there’s precedent for this as well. IIRC, during the Napoleonic Wars, the monarch (King, Emperor, I’m not sure) of Portugal moved the imperial court to Brazil.

And on a fictional note, in S. M. Stirling’s The Peshawar Lancers, after a cometary impacts wreck and temporarily glaciate Western Europe and North America, Queen Victoria moves the court to Delhi.

Well, it would put paid to the “English as the official language” question as no one in the States who wants to make that a law would agree to speak the Queen’s English.

And the Church of Scotland, with effects on the Presbyterian community worldwide, since the Church of Scotland is the established church north of the border.

In addition, the Scottish legal system is so different that it is unlikely the Scots would want to join except as a separate state. That would mean that Wales would also seek statehood (not unreasonably), and then there’d be the Irish question: would the six counties join the Irish Republic, or would they also want to be a state?

Methinks there might be a bit of indecision :wink:

Well, if NI did join as a state, Pat Robertson would lose his title as Most Embarassing American Clergyman.