70 votes
Accepted

What does the British parliament hope to achieve by requesting a third Brexit extension?

The Parliament doesn't have a single opinion. It probably has 650 different opinions (perhaps more!). Individual members may be hoping to achieve different things by an extension: Strong remainers, ...
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  • 92k
61 votes
Accepted

Why is Ian Blackford allowed to speak in the Commons while having crossed the line?

Is there any reason be it written or traditional that would permit Mr Blackford to stand across the line or is it simply permitted because nobody objects? There is a rule is that members cannot speak ...
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  • 5,753
59 votes
Accepted

In the UK parliament, how much of Prime Minister's Questions is pre-planned?

Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) is in theory no different from the usual departmental ministers' questions, with the key difference being that instead of the questions being known ahead of time, a &...
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  • 80k
43 votes
Accepted

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

From Parliament's website. Four tellers are required for a division to take place: two representing those voting for the motion and two representing those voting against. Two tellers - one from each ...
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  • 21.3k
40 votes

Why does John Bercow say “unlock” after reading out the results of a vote?

If you follow the evening votes on any live stream, you'll notice that Bercow has the voting lobbies locked 8 minutes after putting the question. Here's an excellent outline of how the UK parliament's ...
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36 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Theresa May consult with Parliament before negotiating a deal with the EU?

After the referendum there was no requirement to consult Parliament on any deal, the government could have simply agreed it with the EU and presented it as the only option on the table - take it or ...
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  • 17.1k
33 votes

What is the meaning of grabbing the mace in the British parliament?

The mace is a symbol of the Queen's Authority. Its presence in the House of Commons signifies that the House has the Queen's authority to pass laws, etc. It is not unknown for an MP to make some ...
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  • 1,043
29 votes

Why didn't Theresa May consult with Parliament before negotiating a deal with the EU?

Perhaps one thing you may be forgetting is that, when the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU started, the Conservative Party had a healthy majority in the house of commons. Therefore, there ...
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  • 4,864
28 votes

Can the oath to the monarch be "honestly" removed in the British Parliament

The reason why parliament members in the United Kingdom must swear allegiance to the monarch is because the parliament decided that. The Oaths Act 1978 mandates who needs to swear what, when and how. ...
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  • 66.7k
27 votes

Are British MPs missing the point, with these 'Indicative Votes'?

Two things have to be approved by the UK parliament - the Withdrawal Agreement and the accompanying Political Declaration. Many of these potential changes would be to the contents of the political ...
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  • 5,716
27 votes
Accepted

How will the UK Commons debate on the 3rd of September despite the prorogation?

The order authorising prorogation states that: It is this day ordered by Her Majesty in Council that the Parliament be prorogued on a day no earlier than Monday the 9th day of September and no ...
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27 votes

What does the British parliament hope to achieve by requesting a third Brexit extension?

While individual positions within all the parties are muddled, each party's position is reasonably clear. Conservatives: Out on 31st October, Deal or No Deal, the article linked also says they will ...
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  • 21.3k
26 votes

Why does the UK Prime Minister need the permission of Parliament to call a general election?

If the Prime Minister resigns, then another MP is allowed to try to form a government. This has already been discussed as an option by the opposition, specifically to pass a motion of no confidence, ...
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  • 11.4k
25 votes

Could Sinn Fein swing any Brexit vote in Parliament?

Sinn Fein's purpose is a united Ireland. They don't regard British rule over Northern Ireland as legitimate, and swearing the Oath of Allegiance would be anathema to them. They'd be no more willing to ...
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  • 5,514
25 votes

What does it mean to support the brexit deal but need more time to scrutinise it?

The Commons agreed to the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which (if it eventually passes all its parliamentary stages and receives Royal Assent) will turn the UK-EU ...
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25 votes
Accepted

Why is the Speaker of the House of Commons (UK) elected by secret ballot?

The rule was introduced in 2001, following the 2000 election of Michael Martin. That election took place "by means of a conventional parliamentary motion with recorded votes on an amendment for each ...
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  • 1,291
25 votes
Accepted

Is there a hierarchy in how you refer to a UK MP? If so could you use a lower ranked one as an insult?

Yes, but doing so usually leads to being corrected by members who may believe it to be an honest mistake, or being reprimanded by the chair if it is clearly done with the intention to insult. Using a ...
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  • 80k
23 votes

Does the Brexit deal have to be agreed by both Houses?

Denis has given the formal answer, but there is also a political reason why the House of Lords will not block a deal. The House of Lords is unelected, and the Lords are aware that the existence of ...
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  • 43.8k
23 votes

House of Commons clarification on clapping

You're absolutely correct that by convention, applause is discouraged in the House of Commons (and indeed, the Lords). Erskine May, the guide to parliamentary practice, has this to say on the subject: ...
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  • 80k
21 votes

How does the UK House of Commons think they can prolong the deadline of Brexit?

The date on which the United Kingdom ceases to be a member state of the European Union can be extended, by a procedure described in section 3 of Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union: ...
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  • 5,716
21 votes

What does the British parliament hope to achieve by requesting a third Brexit extension?

In the short term, to avoid No Deal and the consequent disasters predicted by Yellowhammer. There's no realistic time to do anything else, and as yet no consensus as to what to do. In the medium term?...
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  • 21.3k
19 votes
Accepted

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

No, but it nearly did. The Cooper-Letwin bill originally had language to that effect when it first passed in the Commons, but it got removed in House of Lords for precisely the reason you're asking ...
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19 votes
Accepted

Was the scene depicting a Commons vote won by 3/4 of a vote real in "This House"?

The part of the play which I believe you're referring to can be read here, and refers to the actions of Walter Harrison, then a government whip in a committee stage vote, not a vote in the main ...
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  • 80k
18 votes

Why is Ian Blackford allowed to speak in the Commons while having crossed the line?

As he is not carrying a sword it is less of a concern I suppose: "Traditions in the Chamber: MPs are not allowed to speak in the space between two red lines running along the length of the ...
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  • 1,264
18 votes
Accepted

Was there a precedent of circumventing Commons supermajority requirement?

There is no precedent for requiring a supermajority in the commons - the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act was the first time this was ever required. There is, therefore, no precedent for circumventing such ...
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  • 5,716
17 votes

Do UK voters know if their MP will be the Speaker of the House?

If the Speaker is seeking to continue in the position from the previous Parliament, then he or she runs as the Speaker rather than for a party (since the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums ...
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  • 20.2k
17 votes

Does no-one standing against the speaker of the house in UK lead to the local electorate being disenfranchised?

Yes. It is a flaw in the British system (I am British). On the other hand, most British voters are effectively disenfranchised, because their vote will never make a difference to the result: they ...
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16 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of grabbing the mace in the British parliament?

The December 10 incident was a protest that the UK parliament is no longer in control of crucial EU withdrawal negotations ("Brexit"). Several key votes have been suspended; the sitting government has ...
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