Background: current UK government led by prime minister Boris Johnson wants to call an early election. But Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 requires 2/3 supermajority in Commons for that, which the government cannot secure.
Euronews say that the government wants to propose a bill which calls an election in December 2019, which requires only a simple majority, so bypassing FTPA.
This possibility was already discussed on this SE: this question in 2017 clarified that FTPA does not diminish future parliament sovereignty and may be repealed by a simple majority, and this recent question also confirmed that it can be bypassed in such a way.
Also, these questions explain that FTPA requires only Commons supermajority for an election, while a normal parliament bill would require also Lords approval and Royal assent. However, Lords are restricted in rejecting Commons bills and Royal Assent is de-facto automatic.
This looks like an unusual way to deal with self-imposed restrictions (and why make them if they can be bypassed in the first place), and it’s interesting whether there were any precedents.
- Were there laws which required Commons supermajority to do something?
- Were they ever bypassed (without repealing them) by a simple majority bill?