Parliament tries to take contol of Brexit from the government

The power struggle over Brexit and between the legislature and the executive steps up a gear tomorrow, when we will see both May’s response to her massive defeat last week and publication of the Cooper/Boles/Grieve cross-party measures to take control of the Brexit Process from May’s government. At the same time steps are being taken to promote the idea of a second referendum both within the Labour Party and with … Read more

Brexit puts the UK constitution under massive strain

The Brexit crisis have underlined a number of serious issues about our unwritten constitution and even the viability of the British state. Arguably our current constitutional arrangements don’t cater effectively for certain problems raised by Brexit, but for which some mechanism or point of ultimate reference is badly needed to prevent abuse of power. One  such case is the role of the monarchy. We arguably do not have effective government … Read more

What now for the Brexit project in a time of maximum uncertainty?

The question must be, what now for the Brexit project? We are now entering a period of maximum uncertainty, with no clear option commanding a majority in Parliament, let alone the country. This will test the ability of politicians to compromise when the desire is to fight to the last for one’s viewpoint. Pragmatism now needs to trump ideology, but one wonders if today’s Populist ideologues that have established a … Read more

The problem of losers’ consent inherent in the UK drive to Brexit

Perhaps the fundamental problem about Brexit is that of consent, and that arguably almost half the voting population do not consent to it. A major underlying weakness of the Brexit strategy being pursued, almost to destruction, by PM May was highlighted today just as Parliament gets close to voting on, and it is being assumed at present, reject her deal with the EU. That is that the government took a … Read more

Parliament makes a stand for democracy

Over the last two days there have been two important votes in Parliament on Brexit that have potentially reasserted the power of Parliament in relation to the executive. As the Brexit endgame is being played out, the issue of Britain’s independence, real or nominal, has become wrapped up with the nature and extent of democracy in the UK. These issues take us to the very heart of representative government in … Read more

The Brexit conflict still remains in deadlock with the clock ticking down

The political deadlock in the UK at Westminster as we reach Christmas seems as solid as ever, with no apparent solution about Brexit on the table except Mrs May’s negotiated deal with the EU, a crash-and-burn no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. It is therefore a good time to assess where we are in relation to this all-consuming Brexit conflict, while other urgent, important or necessary domestic initiatives are on … Read more

Brexit has led to a power struggle between Parliament and the Executive

What is essentially a power struggle between Parliament and the executive over Brexit has moved centre stage. Yesterday the government was defeated on the motion to hold the UK Government in contempt of Parliament, over its refusal to fully publish its legal advice on the deal. This in itself was a rare but very significant shift in the balance of power between the two arms of government in Britain’s unwritten … Read more

The Parliamentary vote on Brexit risks a constitutional crisis and instability

“Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”. Whichever way the crisis over Brexit this winter may go, there may be no real winners and a whole lot of anger. Not surprisingly, many people in Britain are very fearful of what may occur. The crisis in the UK over Brexit is moving inexorably towards its climax, a potential constitutional crisis. On 11th December, after a 5-day debate, the House … Read more

Political disinformation has become dangerous and unacceptable

Further evidence has been emerging in the last few days of an undermining of democratic processes in the UK and elsewhere as the UK Select Committee , the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, reported on political disinformation and “fake news”. This report underlines previous posts in this blog on what can be described as potentially illegal or at best ethically questionable activities to influence voting. The charge sheet keeps … Read more

The 2016 UK referendum poses important questions for democracy

The 2016 Brexit UK referendum has thrown Britain into an unpredented political and constitutional crisis which now threatens to engulf it. To ask whether holding the referendum was the best decision in the circumstances risks inviting political controversy, so embroiled in a bitterly divisive conflict has the issue become. Thus the political observer is treading over volatile territory. However, if we take a step back and look at the health … Read more