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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What forced Theresa May to hold votes on the Withdrawal Agreement? [duplicate]

Theresa May famously lost three parliamentary votes on the EU Withdrawal Agreement. But why did she need to hold any votes at all? Was it not possible for her to simply sign the agreement given that ...
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What is the improvement of the “legally binding commitment” proposed by Boris Johnson over the existing “backstop”?

As explained in this article in The Guardian, Boris Johnson has written to the EU suggesting the backstop could be replaced by some form of commitment to prevent a hard Irish border in his ...
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Why is Boris Johnson visiting only Paris & Berlin if every member of the EU needs to agree on a withdrawal deal?

LONDON: Boris Johnson will tell Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron that there must be a new Brexit deal when he makes his first trip abroad as Prime Minister. Johnson will make clear to the French ...
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About a loophole mentioned in a televison series [closed]

In 'The Thick of It'(a British television series), a highly unlikely candidate(Nicola Murray) becomes leader of the opposition because of an unspecified loophole. Is there really any such loophole or ...
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1answer
281 views

Who cannot be the Prime Minister of the UK?

Other than the ability to survive votes of confidence, are there any rules on who may or may not be Prime Minister of the UK? E.g. could the monarch be the PM? Could a non-UK-national? Could a minor?
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The actual purview of Her Majesty The Queen's prerogative?

In keeping up to date on Brexit, Dominic Cummings, Special Advisor to Boris Johnson - UK Prime Minister - has stated that, in the event that a motion of no confidence has passed the House of Commons, ...
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1answer
168 views

UK Private Sector Receipts from the EU

The UK's membership fee in 2018 according to full fact goes from a £17bn gross payment, less rebate and public sector spending to a £9bn net payment. Specifically, this image shows this does not ...
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1answer
136 views

What is the UK equivalent of the American Congressional Budget Office?

Is there any body in the UK that parallels the American Congressional Budget Office? One that could give a best estimate of the costs of various Brexit options? Obviously it’s very complex and the ...
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What would the United Kingdom's “optimal” Brexit deal look like?

As far as I could tell, the Brexit issue boils down to three core points for the UK: The UK no longer has to follow any EU regulations. The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland ...
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2answers
469 views

Why did so many MPs not vote in Meaningful Vote 3?

Nineteen MPs did not vote in Meaningful Vote 3 on the Withdrawal Agreement. Some of these I can explain, and have posted at the end of this question, but others I cannot currently explain. Why did ...
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1answer
135 views

Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson (PMOS) under Boris Johnson

I know that James Slack was the last PMOS under Theresa May. Who is in this position under Boris Johnson?
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235 views

What happens if a UK government loses a no confidence vote just before a parliamentary recess?

It looks like we could have an unusual situation in the UK (well even relatively speaking) On 23 July, the new leader of the conservative party will be announced. Traditionally the incumbent does not ...
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1answer
231 views

Are UK MPs sometimes obliged to say 'It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship'?

On theyworkforyou.com (see: example 1 or example 2), one can see that many MPs are using the exact form of words to express that 'It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship'. Are they strongly ...
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471 views

What is the latest date a general election in the UK can prevent a no-deal Brexit

Under the assumption that Boris Johnson becomes PM and intends to carry out a no-deal Brexit on the 31st of October, Dominic Grieve has said a number of MPs would be willing to bring down the ...
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2answers
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Can legal action prevent the PM proroguing Parliament?

What legal measures can be used to prevent the Prime Minister proroguing Parliament? Both Gina Miller and John Major have threatened to use legal means to block proroguing, but have not elaborated on ...
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How might the United Kingdom become a republic?

If prospective United Kingdom MPs must swear allegiance to the monarch, and if MPs are needed to change laws, how might the UK become a republic, assuming sufficient public support?
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409 views

Could the US President force Britain to recall Ambassador Kim Darroch?

A few days ago, a leak revealed that in cables sent to London, U.K Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch described Trump's administration as "inept," "insecure" and "incompetent". CNN Today, ...
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6answers
12k views

Is anyone advocating the promotion of homosexuality in UK schools?

There appears to be a line of argument used by a vocal minority that children should not be educated about homosexuality (and, I suppose, non-binary gender identities) because the proposals are to "...
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1answer
342 views

What happens if the Sino-British Joint Declaration is violated?

Recently there've been mass protests in Hong Kong over a proposed bill that would allow extradition of fugitives from Hong Kong to China. The proposed bill is seen as a sign that the "One country, two ...
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1answer
289 views

What does this Boris Johnson article mean? How we can interpret it? [closed]

Recently, Boris Johnson wrote an article in response to Putin's speech about liberalism: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/06/30/will-prove-vladimir-putin-wrong-leaving-eu-october-31/ There ...
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Are there data on how England's European Parliament constituencies voted in the 2017 UK General Election?

For some research/data analysis, I would like to find electoral data from the 2017 UK general election aggregated by European Parliament constituency. For Scotland, Wales, and NI, these data are ...
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1answer
170 views

What is the benefit of town twinning?

So, here in the UK most towns have several 'twin towns' in other countries. These appear to be largely ceremonial, each town will have signs mentioning the other and there may occasionally be statues, ...
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1answer
259 views

What happens if a country does not abide by WTO rules?

I've read a few articles lately about Brexit (for example this one at The Guardian and this one at the BBC) that take it for granted that the tariffs and conditions set by the WTO would have to be ...
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3answers
264 views

Does a newly elected UK Tories leader enjoy a period of immunity from a leadership challenge?

When Theresa May faced an internal vote of no confidence and won in December 2018, she was safe from facing another one for a year. Does a new leader of the Conservative party enjoy a simlilar period ...
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1answer
137 views

Can a foreign citizen cast a vote in the UK Conservative Party leadership election 2019?

To donate more than £500 to the Conservative party, you must be on the UK electoral register, according to these rules. But there does not seem to be the same restriction on becoming a party member. ...
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2answers
242 views

Is there any point in having a backstop with a time limit?

A key part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU is the so-called Irish Backstop, the guarantee that Northern Ireland will remain in a customs union with the EU until both sides agree on ...
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3answers
501 views

Can the UK Prime Minister immediately withdraw the country from the EU without backing from parliament?

Can the UK Prime Minister immediately withdraw the country from the EU without backing from parliament? I am not asking if this is legal, or if it is possible to do without committing political ...
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2answers
187 views

Can MPs stay in a party even after they vote against their own Government?

If an MP votes against, or abstains in a vote of no confidence of their own Government, can they continue to be a member of that party?
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1answer
624 views

Can opposition UK MPs defect and support the ruling party or coalition?

The Conservative Party minority Government has a majority of four (I think). If the party loses its governing majority, could members from the opposition party resign their whip to stand as ...
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1answer
63 views

The process of amending a proposed Bill in the UK

In the committee stage of a bill, amendments may be tabled by backbench MPs. The Deputy Speaker picks from the list of proposed amendments for their debate (and voting on?). How are the amendments ...
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3answers
4k views

Does the UK have a written constitution?

Does the UK have a written constitution? I didn’t think it did, but then I found the following: United Kingdom's Constitution of 1215 with Amendments through 2013 [PDF]
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1answer
116 views

If an MEP resigns is the next person on the list appointed?

What is the process in the UK for when an MEP resigns? Is the next person on the party’s list appointed? In Northern Ireland they use Single Transferrable Vote - perhaps they pick the first loser?
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Will the DUP agree to a Northern Ireland Referendum?

I heard it proposed by Michael Portillo (BBC This Week 13/6/19), that a Johnson government might solve the Irish conundrum by holding a referendum in Northern Ireland, which voted by a majority to ...
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3answers
493 views

What do Tory leadership candidates hope to gain by saying they will renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement?

Assuming that it is accepted that there is very little to no chance of being able to re-open negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, what do Tory leadership candidates hope to ...
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5answers
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Has there been any indication at all that further negotiation between the UK and EU is possible?

All but one of the current candidates for the Tory leadership (and this role of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) are proposing to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU to ...
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6answers
621 views

Why are British voters more likely to back the main parties in general elections than in European Parliament elections?

Recently, in the United Kingdom European Union Parliamentary elections, the Brexit Party won the most seats, with 30.5% of the vote. There are claims from Nigel Farage and others that the Brexit Party ...
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1answer
188 views

How was Northern Ireland governed prior to the Belfast Agreement?

The Belfast Agreement sets out the system of governance for Northern Ireland. But this agreement was only signed in 1998 and came into force in December 1999. How was Northern Ireland governed ...
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3k views

Is there a radar system monitoring the UK sea borders?

In a private watercraft I have undertaken multi-leg sea journeys to and from the UK via other countries (France, Ireland) without going through any kind of border control. Are movements of this kind ...
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1answer
341 views

Does the UK delegate some immigration control to the Republic of Ireland?

Identification is not legally necessary for domestic journeys within the United Kingdom. Take the following three-legged journey: Fly from a non-EU country to Dublin Ride a coach to Belfast Sail a ...
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3answers
416 views

Is the EU 'punishing' the UK for Brexit? How so? [closed]

This question states the EU has been making Brexit harder for the UK. One of the answers stated the reasons were to dissuade other members from deciding to leave as well. What I wonder is, is that ...
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1answer
307 views

Who are the so-called “political elite” in Britain? [closed]

It is a central axiom of those supporting Brexit that Britain is governed by a "political elite" who are out of touch with the views of ordinary people. The implication seems to be that people who ...
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1answer
366 views

To what extent do precedents in Westminster systems apply in other countries that use it?

There is currently discussion in the UK about the possibility of a future Prime Minister proroguing Parliament in order to prevent it from frustrating their vision of Brexit. A big part of the ...
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1answer
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Is there any actual controversy concerning the attacking side at Oldham Rally?

The Guardian ran the following article: Police condemn speculation about violence at Tommy Robinson rally Supporters and counter-protesters clashed at far-right activist’s event in Oldham ...
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Why did Change UK not stand in the Peterborough By-Election?

I've found articles that talk about attempts to set up a Single Pro-Remain candidate to stand directly against the Brexit party. The linked article makes clear these talks broke down, but doesn't ...
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2answers
313 views

How could the PM prorogue Parliament without the Queen's consent?

In theory, only the Queen can prorogue Parliament: The Queen formally prorogues Parliament on the advice of the Privy Council. https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/occasions/prorogation/ Based ...
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248 views

What will happen if the person the Conservative party membership elects as leader cannot command a majority in the House of Commons?

It would seem to me a distinct possibility that if the Tory membership elect a pro-Brexit ERG person as party leader, that the Queen might not call him/her to the Palace. It is a fundamental axiom ...
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3answers
2k views

How is the excise border managed in Ireland?

There is a tax border between Northern Ireland and Ireland for excise. By "tax border" I mean a border across which tax is due. Although there has been a harmonisation effort within the EU for ...
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1answer
174 views

Ratification of trade agreements

Are trade agreements treaties? If so, does that mean that trade agreements are agreed by trade envoys and cabinet-level politicians before being presented to the legislature for ratification? In ...
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1answer
220 views

What are the problems related to Trump administration’s targeting of Huawei affecting US/UK relationship?

The New York Times article Trump State Visit to U.K. Faces Turbulence Amid Brexit Chaos says: British and American officials said the White House had been deferential to 10 Downing Street in ...
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1answer
213 views

How prevalent is ghostwriting in UK political speeches?

For example when a Prime Minister delivers a speech are there any circumstances when the minister wrote the speech him/herself? How about the first speech of a premiership?