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

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

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

The political deadlock in Parliament continues

The turmoil that is Brexit continues but still with no clear way forward emerging. In effect there is political deadlock in Parliament and no political option has a clear majority. This division and confusion is replicated amongst journalists, who offer various solutions but no consensus, and the public, as can be seen in confusing opinion polls. Negotiations with the EU resume tomorrow on a proposal that most people already are … Read more

Avoiding the slow-motion Brexit train crash

The slow motion train crash that is Brexit is gradually speeding up as the deadline for an agreement with the EU gets closer and yet the political situation in the UK remains deadlocked. May’s government has, after months of wrangling between ministers, finally produced a White Paper of an outline of a proposal for a trade negotiation with the EU, only to see it widely criticised as either unworkable or … Read more

At last the Brexit revolution is stymied

At last the Brexit revolution is stymied. More and more one can envisage that the “soft” Brexit option will occur and also the previously unthinkable “no Brexit” option has just got stronger. Yesterday evening, the UK Parliament voted through an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill compelling the government to obtain its consent before Brexit, thus preventing a “no deal” departure as demanded by the diehard Brexiteers. As argued before … Read more

Britain is experiencing deadlock politics

To the outsider, watching Prime Minister May struggle to make constructive proposals and secure agreement on its exit from the EU, it must seem as though the UK has suddenly gone mad. This is certainly what my neighbours here in South-West France think! That would however misunderstand the complexities that the UK – and all the other 27 members of the EU – are faced with. The current difficulties the … Read more

Brexit risks – Bad things happen when good people do nothing

The Brexit risks multiply. As Theresa May and her team consider their options for Brexit, and lawyers prepare their arguments for next week’s Supreme Court hearing on Parliamentary sovereignty and the Brexit trigger, the clock ticks closer to the moment when Article 50 will be set in motion and the count-down on Brexit will start. More and more observers agree that we are faced with an enormous and unprecedented political … 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