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

Brexit plunges the UK into a constitutional crisis

As was to be expected, the UK is now embroiled in a constitutional crisis over the government’s plan to negotiate its departure from the EU. On 3 November 2016 the UK High Court ruled that the UK government cannot activate the Article 50 process to leave the European Union without Parliamentary approval. In doing so it asserted a fundamental principle of the UK’s unwritten constitution, that Parliament is sovereign. This … Read more

UK Constitution under pressure (2): to remain in the EU or leave?

One of the most profound changes to the UK Constitution and system of government has been membership of the EU, and yet today many politicians are urging us to leave. Were this happen, it would be a further profound change and, many argue, a reduction in Britain’s influence in Europe and in the world. Proponents of Brexit however argue that Britain would, once freed of the bureaucratic and restrictive over-government … Read more

Does Parliament need a facelift or a new body politic?

It is ironic that the Palace of Westminster building is badly decayed and a major refurbishment is required at the very time that there is such a backlash against Westminster politics in general. It is as though the need for members to temporarily vacate the building could be just the time to consider a more major revamp of the UK’s most hallowed of institutions. Firstly, the structure of the early … Read more

The UK Constitution under severe pressure: (1) Devolution

Underlying a lot of the difficulties being faced in the upcoming 2015 election are unresolved problems to do with the UK constitution and system of government, the most pressing of which are the issue of devolution of power to the nations of the UK and regions, as set against the potential for the UK to fall apart, and also the UK’s relationship with the EU. However there are other issues … Read more

A UK political system in crisis

Today UK politics is confronted by the challenge of the breakdown of the two-party system and is struggling to come up with behaviours to deal with the new reality. A UK political system predicated on the First Past The Post electoral system and the long-term historical dominance by two main nationwide parties is arguably ill-equipped to respond to a multi-party situation, made more complex by a trend towards nationalist parties … Read more

Press regulation and unintended consequence of a new UK constitution?

As the dust settles a little from the crisis over press regulation, Britain’s journalists have been contemplating the implications of the system devised between the leaders of the major parties in the small hours of 18 March. There has also been a steady stream of concerned criticism from overseas. The enormity of what has been agreed is beginning to sink in and, just maybe, bringing forward some major unintended consequences. … Read more

How do we balance freedom of expression with press intrusion?

The current state of confusion over press regulation here in the UK presents me with a very useful opportunity to start this blog – the attempts by politicians to come up with a model of regulation that meets the assumed need for reform and also satisfies the various scruples about freedom of expression. One could choose to start a blog at any time but what is so good about this … Read more