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Questions tagged [united-kingdom]

Questions relating to the government and politics of the United Kingdom, including that of Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland.

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Why are UK MPs targeting the prime minister and not the deal?

Given that the Prime Minister's activity that has given rise to discontent, is the EU deal, that deal is due for imminent voting, and that no alternative candidate nor markedly better prospects for a ...
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2answers
824 views

What if nobody wants the job as leader of the UK Conservative Party?

This question as quite hypothetical as I don't believe it will come to pass, but… There is an ongoing situation in which Theresa May, Leader of the United Kingdom Conservative Party and Prime ...
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If the conservative party is so divided on the (right now) most important topic, why are they not splitting courses?

Well living in the Netherlands it is quite common to see parties come and go, where one party splits up and later merges to different parties as situation changes. I keep reading that "internally ...
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1answer
134 views

How does “giving way” in the UK parliament work?

In UK parliamentary debates, an MP from the Government or Opposition gives a speech on the topic (e.g. see here). Yet, frequently, the person speaking "gives way" to another MP (called "right ...
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1answer
164 views

Could the UK Parliament defy the delay on the meaningful vote and simply vote on it?

The "Meaningful Vote" that was scheduled for today has yesterday been delayed by the government. Would there be any procedural way for the UK Parliament short of ousting the government to vote on ...
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2answers
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What is the meaning of grabbing the mace in the British parliament?

I gather from this tweet that grabbing the mace lying on the table of the British House of Commons is an act of protest and has some kind of significance. What significance does this gesture have?
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5answers
5k views

Could the UK unilaterally “restart the clock” on Brexit?

Assume that: The UK withdraws its Article 50 notice (or purports to do so) as the ECJ says it can. The UK waits for whatever length of time is politically expedient. Optionally, the UK holds a "...
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36 views

If the UK leaves the EU but joins the EEA, what happens to non-EU trade?

If the UK joins the EEA but leaves the EU, I understand it will have free trade with the EU via EFTA. What about trade with all the non-EU countries? I understand that the UK would not benefit from ...
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2answers
175 views

Can parties usually withdraw unilaterally from treaties? What's unusual about the binding nature of the “Irish backstop” in the Brexit agreement?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn writes in The Guardian about the proposed Brexit agreement, specifically about the Irish backstop: There is no precedent I am aware of for a British government signing ...
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1answer
211 views

What are the constitutional and broader implications of today's vote by Parliament, finding that the govt was in contempt?

According to the BBC, today's vote by the UK Parliament that finds the government in contempt, is said to have "huge" constitutional and political significance". Setting aside the immediate issue ...
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72 views

What did John Major mean by “Most European heads of government couldn't find their way to their parliaments with a white stick.”? [closed]

Please see the titled question, and the bolded phrases beneath. Am I correct that John Major's quote is hyperbole? If yes to 1, why'd Major choose an obviously overblown hyperbole? Why not nuance it?...
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1answer
169 views

Why are members of the Cabinet allowed to resign without notice?

According to the Gov.UK website, one must give a week's notice if they wish to resign from their job and have been working for at least a month. (Source) Why does this one-week rule not apply to the ...
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2answers
255 views

Why do UK citizens feel “that only the British (and perhaps the Swiss) are properly democratic”? [on hold]

Why do UK citizens feel "that only the British (and perhaps the Swiss) are properly democratic"? Please the bolded phrases below in the quotes for illustrations: Gary Gibbon, First-class BA ...
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1answer
118 views

Why would a British citizen define themselves as English, not British?

Gary Gibbon, First-class BA History (Balliol College, Oxford). Breaking Point: The UK Referendum on the EU and its Aftermath (Haus Curiosities). p. 63.         And then there ...
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2answers
364 views

Did Nigel Farage ever explain why the UK should leave the EU?

Some explanation is probably necessary... I know he explained many times what he considered to be faults with the EU, but those are not reasons to leave - they are firstly things to be fixed, and ...
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2answers
303 views

If, on 12 December, the House of Commons passes, by a simple majority, a vote of “no confidence” in Theresa May's government, what happens next?

At one time the answer would have been simple - a general elction would have ensued. However under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act a two-thirds majority is required to trigger a general election. It ...
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1answer
129 views

The backstop involves staying in a Customs Union with the EU - who gets the tariffs?

The Withdrawal Agreement Backstop is a UK-wide Customs Union with the EU. In this event, who gets the tariffs?
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4answers
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Why is May in charge of Brexit negotiations? What happened to the prominent Brexiteers?

I don't follow UK politics much, but I did get interested during the Brexit referendum two years ago. Back then, the main names I recall are David Cameron, Boris Johnson, and Nigel Farage, and maybe ...
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4answers
360 views

Why is there such a long delay before putting the “Meaningful Vote” to the British Parliament

The EU-UK Brexit deal was agreed and released to the EU, UK Parliament and the public on the 14th of November. The 27 EU countries met and agreed the content on the 25th November, but the same ...
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12answers
22k views

What are the main reasons for why negotiating a proper Brexit deal has been so hard?

When the UK voted for Brexit, then it was generally expected that the pro-Brexit politicians had some idea of how negotiations for a Brexit deal would fare and what the outcome would be. Now years ...
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1answer
168 views

During the transition period will UK membership contributions continue as before, in addition to the divorce bill?

During the transition period (assuming there is one) I understand UK membership contributions to the EU will continue as before. But will these be in addition to the £39 billion “divorce bill”? ...
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1answer
5k views

Why are gambling winnings not taxed in the United Kingdom?

I recently moved to England and was somewhat surprised to learn that gambling winnings are not taxed. A Google search reveals this article from Forbes that explains that such a tax would be at most ...
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1answer
197 views

Why is the magnitude of the UK/EU divorce bill not contingent on a deal?

The £39 billion “divorce bill” is payment for commitments previously made up until the end of the current Multiannual Framework. If the Transition Period keeps the UK as full-paying members (albeit ...
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1answer
329 views

Could Gibraltar become an independent country, under the Queen?

The treaty of Utrecht specifies that if Britain wants to get rid of Gibraltar, Spain gets first dibs. "And in case it shall hereafter seem meet to the Crown of Great Britain to grant, sell or by any ...
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1answer
228 views

If the DUP is no longer in a “confidence and supply arrangement” can the UK Government still govern?

on Monday, the DUP abstained on the first two votes on the Finance Bill, and eight DUP lawmakers voted against the government in a third vote, on an amendment to the bill proposed by the opposition ...
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3answers
126 views

Was the withdrawal agreement in Article 50 intended to be the statement of future relationship?

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty lays out that a two year period may be used to define the an agreement for withdrawal. This has ended up defining a period during which the future relationship will ...
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0answers
76 views

Were the UK’s assets in the EU used to calculate the divorce bill?

Having been net contributors for decades, the UK has assets in the EU. For example shares in buildings and the European Investment Bank. Were these included in the £39 billion divorce bill?
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5answers
591 views

Is a second EU Referendum undemocratic?

People often say a second referendum is undemocratic. The first referendum was partially based on incorrect/dishonest information. After over two years of the general public viewing the government ...
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3answers
415 views

Did the EU agree to a customs union without freedom of movement in the latest Brexit deal?

The Economist has published a convenient chart explaining the "final" Brexit deal: Does this essentially mean that the EU has agreed to a full customs union without freedom of workers movement? Or ...
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2answers
4k views

What does Nicholas Watt mean that May has “enough tellers for her Brexit vote”?

From journalist Nicholas Watt on Twitter: With two Tory MPs supporting Theresa May’s deal she has one breakthrough: enough tellers for her #Brexit vote I believe this is a reference to some system ...
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2answers
414 views

If the NI border is the major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations, why are both sides willing to risk no-deal?

The news over the past few weeks have made a big thing about how the major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations is the 'backstop' over the Northern Irish border, with both sides, apparently, ...
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9answers
11k views

Why is the EU concerned about the UK “unilaterally withdrawing” from a proposed Irish backstop?

As I understand, one of the sticking points in the Brexit negotiations has been Britain's level of obligation to a proposed customs union backstop. I understand also that this is essentially a ...
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What law forces cookie dialogs on websites? [migrated]

The Web is now covered with poorly designed, intrusive and ineffective dialogs warning about cookies. Presumably this is as a result of an EU directive. Which UK law enacts this directive?
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2answers
398 views

Why is the City of London governed by a corporation?

The municipal governing body of the City of London is the City of London Corporation. Is there any special meaning to the term "corporation" in its name? (As opposed to simply a historical name, a ...
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1answer
59 views

Domestic scrutiny of EU legislation before Parliament and Council of Ministers votes

I have identified two committees within Westminster: The European Scrutiny Committee The European Union Committee Are these the domestic bodies composed of representatives that have the role of ...
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3answers
1k views

Is EU Treaty Article 50 (2) paradoxical?

Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (the “Lisbon Treaty”) sets out that the European Union Withdrawal Agreement should take account of the terms for the departing Member State’s future ...
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1answer
59 views

Will the Withdrawal Agreement contain binding commitments to the nature of the Future Relationship?

The vote on the European Union Withdrawal Agreement is being used to enable UK Parliamentarians have a say on whether to proceed on the basis of the negotiated deal with the EU. But will the ...
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1answer
138 views

Will member state parliaments have the opportunity to ratify the UK/EU deal before exit day?

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill will be voted on by the UK Parliament before Exit Day (29th March 2019) to give Members of Parliament an opportunity to scrutinise the negotiated EU/UK ...
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17 views

Is there a website where I can track the passage of a historical Bill? [duplicate]

I would like to track the legislative process for the European Union Referendum Act 2015. I’d like to see if there was a white paper, a draft, what changes were made, what debate was held and so on.
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1answer
111 views

Is there a name for a system where representatives are not party affiliated, but issue affiliated?

The current UK (and other) political stems work on the concept of “proxying” my vote on all issues to a local representative, which I would pick by choosing one that represents my beliefs as closely ...
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1answer
221 views

Can the DUP withdraw their support at any time?

The DUP give the Tories a working majority of 13. Are the DUP at liberty to withdraw support for any reason?
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1answer
540 views

What happens if Members of Parliament defect causing a Government to lose a majority?

If enough Members of Parliament defect causing a Government to lose their majority, is the process that the incumbent can try to form a new Government via coalition or confidence and supply? If this ...
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1answer
117 views

Did the EU Referendum Act 2015 mandate “the leaflet”? [closed]

Did the EU Referendum Act 2015 mandate the delivery of a leaflet to every household advocating the Government’s position?
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3answers
567 views

Why doesn't the UK hold a second Brexit referendum to clarify what the public wants from Brexit?

In following the ongoing Brexit drama I've seen claims that the first vote was unfair because it was only for yes/no and didn't say anything about what form an actual Brexit would take. This ...
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1answer
114 views

Why did John Bercow nominate an Australian senate official to be the Clerk of the House?

In 2014 why did John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, nominate an Australian senate official to be the Clerk of the House? The Clerk of the House of Commons is a constitutional advisor, it ...
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3answers
3k views

Purpose of the European Arrest Warrant

In 2005, Osman Hussain, who tried to blow up the London Underground on 21st July that year, was extradited from Italy using the European Arrest Warrant. This is held up as an example of the utility ...
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1answer
184 views

How does the UK deal with freedom of the press?

Information relevant to matters under valid law-enforcement investigation or national-security matters may have valid reasons to be treated carefully by a government. Unregulated details, such as ...
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157 views

“Deep State” safeguards in the UK

British MPs are democratically elected by simple majority to represent their constituents in the legislature. MPs vote on laws initiated by the Government. MPs can initiate legislation via the Cabinet ...
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1answer
50 views

Is the Common European Asylum System discretionary?

The UK opted-out of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Does this mean that this element of the EU is discretionary? If so, why might a member state subscribe to it? If not, does the CEAS ...
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1answer
70 views

Why are services by self-employed people and employees taxed differently in the UK?

In the UK workers are taxed differently based on whether the work arrangement looks more like self-employment or employment. Here's an example by HRMC for self-employment: Alan is taken on by a ...