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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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26
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1answer
20k views

What governmental power does the Monarch hold in Great Britain in practice?

We have been led to believe that much of the power that was once held by the monarchy has been transferred to the Parliament and that the Queen is mostly a figurehead. However, the government is still ...
4
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1answer
193 views

What personal decision-making powers does the British monarch retain in practice? [duplicate]

De-jure, the Queen is the supreme ruler of the UK and retains significant decision-making power. But in practice she is obliged to follow the instructions of Parliament and the Prime Minister. ...
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7answers
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Why don't British kings and queens veto laws?

I've learned from Wikipedia that the British king or queen has the right to veto laws, but they don't use the right. Why is that? Is it because of tradition, respect for democracy, some regulations or ...
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8answers
3k views

Could the British government un-trigger Article 50?

At some point, probably early in 2017, the British Prime Minster is likely to trigger Article 50. A number of expert commentators and a large proportion of the British public still believe that it is ...
56
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8answers
18k views

Why is it impossible to leave the Single Market without a hard Irish border?

I see a repeated assumption that puzzles me. From another well asked and answered question: On one hand it is impossible for the UK to leave the Single Market while maintaining an open border with ...
14
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8answers
2k views

How could the UK resolve the Irish border conundrum without staying in the Single Market?

Right now the UK seems to be in a stalemate in regards to the Irish border situation post-Brexit: If they don't leave the Single Market, Brexit would be effectively a farce as the UK would be forced ...
14
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1answer
2k views

How do Whips enforce control over MPs in the UK Parliament?

Whips are often used to 'persuade' MPs in their party to vote the way the Party wishes them to vote. What power, or powers, do Whips have over backbench MPs to enforce this wish?
110
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13answers
25k 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 ...
25
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3answers
1k views

What will Scotland's status in the EU be, assuming the Scots vote for independence?

The Scots will vote on whether Scotland should be an independent country or not, on September 18, 2014. Assuming the majority vote is for independence, will Scotland remain in the European Union ...
43
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6answers
9k views

Must the UK leave the EU?

The BBC has projected that a majority voted for the UK to leave the EU. To what extent is the referendum binding?
32
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2answers
9k views

Why don't Sinn Féin take their seats in the UK parliament?

It seems that whatever happens (or happened) in a UK general election, the Irish nationalist party, Sinn Féin, will presumably always be in opposition. This means that the British government - ...
28
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7answers
6k views

No deal Brexit : How is it going to help UK to create new trade deals?

There is a lot of optimism that leaving EU's Single Market, will be an opportunity for UK to create new trade deals with other countries outside the EU. I have seen articles and people using this ...
16
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2answers
1k views

What treaties or (written) agreements would a hard border in Ireland breach, post-Brexit?

Would the hard border that would come up in a "no deal" Brexit (between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) be violating any binding agreements that the UK has signed? (And the same goes for ...
30
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2answers
6k views

Can the UK veto its own extension request?

Every member of the EU has to agree any extension to article 50. Does this mean the UK PM could (technically) use his vote in the European Council to veto his own request for an extension?
14
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1answer
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Why is the polish PiS considered dangerous, but not the UK conservatives?

Both parties won an absolute majority of seat in the parliament of their respective countries, and that without winning an absolute majority of the votes, because of how the election system works. ...
3
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3answers
569 views

Mechanics of a second Brexit referendum

Some people advocate a simple n-way ballot like: Remain Deal No deal But this splits the leave vote. An alternative is to use Single Transferable Vote, which in the case of a referendum would be an ...
4
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1answer
530 views

Can the Prime Minister prorogue Parliament?

Can the Prime Minister of the UK prorogue (ie. suspend) Parliament at any time? Or are there constraints on this?
46
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3answers
7k views

Which, if any, UK parliament petitions have ever succeeded?

The UK government official parliamentary petition website allows citizens to submit and sign petitions. Which petitions have ever succeeded? By succeeded, I mean been debated and then actually acted ...
44
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8answers
8k views

Why do the British opposition parties not want a new election?

I'm trying to understand why Labour and other parties do not want an election. The bill blocking the no-deal exit on the 31st of October will almost certainly pass today. That means that the no-deal ...
22
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2answers
1k views

Equivalent to government shutdown in parliamentary systems

Given the recent government shutdown in the US, there have been a lot of related questions here wondering about the possibility of it happening in the UK, Australia, and so on. In general, the ...
15
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3answers
3k views

What is a Hung Parliament?

How is the Labour Party, with 57 fewer seats, able to still be in power in government? Did the Labour Party hang Parliament?
13
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1answer
989 views

Brexit divorce bill breakdown

Articles like http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39453338 claim that UK might have to pay to leave the EU a bill estimated to be as much as €60bn (£51bn; $64bn). What's the justification of the ...
6
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3answers
1k 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 ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Could Boris Johnson theoretically ignore any legislation passed to prevent no-deal brexit?

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has clearly set out his position in that he wishes to leave the EU on 31st October with or without a deal. I.e if further negotiations with the EU do not result ...
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3answers
1k views

Why does the UK parliament need a vote on the political declaration?

As reported in the bbc article available here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47742395 The UK government has split the 'deal' into the actual agreement and the non-legally binding political ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Why is an MP required to comply with a Three Line Whip?

We already have a question about why MPs are required to comply with party whips in general. But I would like to know why is an MP required to comply with a Three Line Whip in particular. I've just ...
3
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1answer
805 views

What kind of legislative power does the British monarchy possess?

When did the British monarchy actually hand over its legislative powers to the parliament? Why is the monarchy still present today? There seems to be no real need for it anymore. Not only that I think ...
16
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1answer
984 views

Can the Queen refuse to suspend the Parliament?

According to BBC in Government asks Queen to suspend Parliament: The government has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks ...
13
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2answers
357 views

What forms of redress are available if a government decides to act illegally by omission?

At present, the UK parliament is attempting to pass legislation that would require Boris Johnson's government to take action to avoid a no-deal Brexit scenario. For the purposes of this question, I am ...
10
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1answer
632 views

How could Scotland become independent given that Theresa May rejected a referendum?

Given the stance of Theresa May on allowing Scotland a second referendum, how could Scotland become independent? In short, if the UK government refused to acknowledge the mandate of the SNP to call a ...
5
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2answers
395 views

Do US politicians issue UK-style manifestos?

In the UK, political parties publish manifestos that go into reasonable detail about their plans post-election. Naturally, as politicians, they don't always deliver on their promises, but at least it ...
4
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1answer
401 views

Can the Government enact the withdrawal bill without parliament's approval?

Her Majesty's Government is a democratically elected executive, to enact the will of the people through Parliament. The withdrawal agreement has been through the due process. Couldn't they present ...
3
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1answer
378 views

Is there a legal way to postpone or call off a general election in the UK due to concerns one way or another?

I'm asking this as a follow up question after this one when Steve Melnikoff raised an interesting point in the comments as to whether there was a legal mechanism to postpone or call off a general ...
71
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4answers
21k views

Could the UK re-join EU after leaving?

Let's assume that Article 50 is invoked and UK officially leaves EU For some reason, both UK populace (a large share) and enough powers that be or popular will in EU, decide that UK ought to re-join ...
64
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8answers
14k views

Can the UK realistically back out of Brexit?

Note: this is not a question about whether Brexit is a good or bad thing. Keep answers impartial please. It is quite obvious that the current British government negotiating Brexit terms has a very ...
50
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9answers
14k views

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 ...
63
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5answers
12k views

Why shouldn't BBC have to register as a foreign agent?

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is, as far as I know, a fully government-subsidized British TV channel. Does that not make it an arm of the British government? While some may point to its ...
52
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4answers
12k views

What do hard-Brexiteers want with respect to the Irish border?

Hard-Brexiteers would like the UK to have a "clean break" with the EU, and in particular they don't want any part of the UK to stay even temporarily in the customs union (the so-called backstop). ...
49
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3answers
8k views

How does the expelling of diplomats work to create pressure on the diplomats' home country?

The UK has decided to expel Russian diplomats as response to the poisoning of an ex Russian spy in the UK. This tactic has been used by UK and other countries in the past (example: 4 diplomats were ...
67
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8answers
15k views

Why did the UK trigger Article 50 before having a negotiation position?

Why did the United Kingdom invoke Article 50 before it had reached a negotiation position? Two years is a short time to negotiate something as complex as a withdrawal from the European Union, yet the ...
26
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5answers
3k views

Why do other countries in the EU care so strongly that the UK accepts free movement of people?

It is often reported in the press that the UK will not be able to arrange a new trade deal with the EU without accepting the free movement of labor. Why is this the case: What do other countries gain ...
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2answers
1k views

What is Article 50?

Former Prime Minister David Cameron said he would leave triggering Article 50 up to his successor. What exactly is Article 50?
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3answers
7k views

What happens if it is proved that “vote leave” campaign broke campaigning laws?

This Guardian article argues about connections between Cambridge Analytica and Brexit referendum. There is a paragraph that tells us about some restrictions related to how information and money can ...
38
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6answers
7k views

What would be the subject of a second Brexit Referendum?

At the moment (Sept. 2018) there's a discussion in the UK whether there should be a "second referendum" on Brexit. In the media there's already a discussion how people would vote. But upon what would ...
38
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9answers
12k 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 ...
35
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2answers
7k views

Is there any precedent for the UK arresting a diplomat on their own soil?

As Assange gets citizenship to Ecuador and becomes an official diplomat of the country, I'm wondering if there is any precedent for the UK to arrest him in that capacity for alleged transgressions ...
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3answers
5k views

Could Westminster block the possibility of a referendum on Scottish independence?

With the recent events of the Brexit, the SNP want another referendum. Is it possible that Westminster would block this possibility? How could Scotland become independent without the approval of ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Does Parliament need to approve the new Brexit delay to 31 October 2019?

Does the UK Parliament have to approve the new Brexit extension till 31-Oct-2019? If Parliament does not approve it, or does not do so before 11 pm, would that result in a no-deal Brexit tonight? I ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Would it be plausible to solve the Irish Border issue by unifying Ireland?

The Irish border seems to be the biggest obstacle to establishing an agreement on Brexit and we've seen considerable talk about hard and soft borders. There are two potential solutions that I have NOT ...
8
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1answer
635 views

What would a delayed Brexit mean for the 2019 European Parliament election?

One proposal for the current political situation in the UK regards Brexit is a delay of the Brexit for further discussions/votes/elections/referenda/... But we have the 2019 European Parliament ...