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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111
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13answers
26k 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 ...
103
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6answers
20k views

Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

Purportedly the Russian state assassinated Alexander Litvinenko by poisoning with him with: radioactive polonium-210, believed to have been administered in a cup of tea Alexander Litvinenko: ...
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4answers
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Could Ecuador get Julian Assange out of the UK by giving him some mail to deliver?

As mentioned in an answer to this question, the UK refused to declare Julian Assange an Ecuadorean diplomat, presumably as it would allow him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy and the UK without being ...
83
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9answers
24k views

Why is the British government so determined to arrest Julian Assange?

The UK government has put the Ecuadorian embassy in London on surveillance for years now. AFAIK, Wikileaks has not released any documents damaging to the UK government. Nor has it released any ...
81
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9answers
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Why do UK politicians seemingly ignore opinion polls on Brexit?

Looking at the Brexit opinion polls it seems that the public is consistently in favor of staying in the EU ever since July 2017, with the gap between 'leave' and 'remain' slowly widening over time. So ...
80
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9answers
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Why is consensus so controversial in Britain?

Years after the Brexit vote, long after losing her majority in the House of Commons, and days before the extended Brexit date, the Prime Minister (Theresa May) is now talking to the Leader of the ...
72
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10answers
12k views

What are the arguments in favour of Brexit?

As a fairly typical UK citizen, with a partner, children, job, mortgage, etc., what benefits can I expect to experience over the next five years as a result of the UK leaving the EU? I'm aware of ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
62
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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 ...
60
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5answers
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What options are left, if Britain cannot decide?

To my understanding, the lawful government of the United Kingdom has decided, following due process, that: The United Kingdom shall leave the European Union at a set date (currently 29 Mar 2019) The ...
60
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6answers
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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 "...
57
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5answers
15k views

Why didn't Thatcher give Hong Kong to Taiwan?

So, back in the 80s, the Prime Minister of the UK, Margaret Thatcher, negotiated the "one country, two systems" agreement with the PRC regarding the return on Hong Kong to Chinese rule, as the treaty ...
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 ...
55
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10answers
18k views

Why does the EU care so much about the UK divorce payment?

Most current estimates of the UK exit bill show that the sum is somewhere around 50 billion Euros. This is equivalent to 0.3% of the EU's yearly GDP, so it's pretty much a negligible sum for the EU ...
54
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11answers
16k views

Would it save lives in London to arm every individual police officer?

Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, said on the radio this morning that she continued to be opposed to ordinary police officers in London being routinely armed. Britain ...
52
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4answers
13k 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). ...
51
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9answers
13k views

Does any politician - honestly - want a No Deal Brexit? [closed]

As a German, it seems to me that No Deal Brexit without preparations would hurt so much that it makes no sense to prefer it. That is so clear that it should be the case for any conceivable expectation ...
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 ...
50
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4answers
13k views

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 ...
50
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1answer
11k views

Will English be dropped as an official/working language of the EU after Brexit?

English is currently one of the 24 official languages of the European Union (EU), and one of the three “working” languages alongside French and German. Will the United Kingdom leaving the EU (Brexit) ...
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 ...
49
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10answers
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Why was the Brexit referendum conducted as a simple majority vote?

For votes which can have extremely long-term consequences, (like changing the constitution) a simple majority vote is usually not enough. Such voting and referendums are not about electing a temporary ...
48
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10answers
12k views

Why didn't the number of government employees go down by a significant margin after computers and the Internet were introduced?

Looking at the statistics for the number of public servants in the UK on can see that their numbers are relatively stable over the past 20 years. However it seems strange to me since huge improvements ...
48
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6answers
11k views

How did Theresa May remain PM after her Brexit deal was rejected?

As far as I understand, Theresa May was elected to the leader of the Conservatives (and consequently Prime Minister of the UK) to make a Brexit deal (source): She [May] said there was a "big job" ...
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 ...
46
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3answers
23k views

Could the Queen have stopped Brexit?

If Her Majesty so desired, would she have been allowed to overrule the will of both the people and the House of Commons and prevent the triggering of Article 50? If so, what political backlash would ...
45
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2answers
8k views

On what legal basis did the UK remove the 'European Union' from its passport?

The UK is still part of the EU. So I am wondering, what is the legal basis of the decision to remove the words 'European Union' from the cover of UK passports issued since March 29th 2019 (the ...
45
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6answers
20k views

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 ...
44
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8answers
12k views

Why does the UK have more political parties than the US?

After reading this article, I got to wondering why the US has 2 viable political parties while the UK appears to have many, even though both use first-past-the-post voting. Across England and Wales,...
44
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8answers
9k 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 ...
43
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7answers
9k views

Why is the UK still pressing on with Brexit?

Before Monday I have always taken an impartial stance when ingesting information produced by clearly pro-Leave and pro-Remain groups, to analyze the information and take time to cross-reference it ...
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?
42
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6answers
11k views

Why are the Brexit trade talks held up by the divorce talks?

In order to provide certainty for businesses and bureacrats, to a layman it appears practical for Britain to carry out trade talks with the European Union in parallel with the divorce talks. Yet the ...
42
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3answers
15k views

Does the Brexit deal being voted down imply that Brexit is not going to happen?

Just looking at the TV and I am seeing that the British Parliament rejected the Brexit deal (cannot find an online source yet for this, although multiple sources show this vote result as very ...
42
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5answers
6k views

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 ...
42
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7answers
10k views

Why is participating in the European Parliamentary elections used as a threat?

As the Brexit deadline approaches, I've seen reporting recently over the British government using participation in the European Parliament elections as a threat to convince MPs to not force the ...
39
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3answers
9k views

Why does the BBC claim that there is 'no clear winner' in England's local elections?

In the latest local elections in May, Labour won 2,350 seats (up 77), the Conservatives 1,332 (down 33). There were other parties involved, but these are the main two. The BBC has an article (2018-05-...
39
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2answers
4k views

How come Lord Buckethead could stand for election pseudonymously?

In the British general election of 2017, "Lord Buckethead" stood in the constituency of Maidenhead. Buckethead is a pseudonym. I understand Buckethead's identity is not public knowledge: Buckethead,...
38
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8answers
10k views

Can Northern Ireland's border issue be solved by repartition?

In following the ongoing Brexit drama, it seems everything is resolved except the question of the Norther Irish border, which is very difficult indeed to solve. Idea: draw a new border that splits ...
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 ...
38
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8answers
13k views

Why doesn't the EU now just force the UK to choose between referendum and no-deal?

Since May has proven unable to get a deal through, there are now two alternatives left: no-deal, or an article 50 extension (which would then lead to further deals being put on the table, or possibly ...
38
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6answers
10k views

Why is the UK so keen to remove the “backstop” when their leadership seems to think that no border will be needed in Northern Ireland?

The "backstop" is a part of the Brexit agreement that EU negotiated with British Prime Minister May. It is a fallback option to be enforced only if no solution is found for the border issue between ...
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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1answer
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Why does John Bercow say “unlock” after reading out the results of a vote?

In video from the House of Commons, whenever John Bercow reads the results of a vote, he says “unlock” at the end. For example, from last night: The Ayes to the right, 329. The Noes to the left, ...
37
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5answers
11k views

If Boris Johnson were prosecuted and convicted of lying about Brexit, can that be used to cancel Brexit?

This question is based on the assumption that Boris Johnson gets prosecuted and found guilty of misleading the public during the EU referendum. Could this be used in court to argue that the results ...
37
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2answers
6k views

Have the UK Conservatives lost the working majority and if so, what does this mean?

The Conservatives in the UK are in a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP in order to have a working majority in Parliament. Yesterday, three Conservatives left the party to become ...
36
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6answers
9k views

Why can't the Brexit deadlock in the UK parliament be solved with a plurality vote?

I doubt I am the only person that is frustrated and a bit perplexed by the current deadlock we are seeing in the UK parliament regarding Brexit. My question is: there appears to be a fairly well-...
36
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2answers
7k views

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?