Tag Archives: House of Commons

Should Ministers Be Appointed From Outside Parliament?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, has made headlines by suggesting that ministers need not always be MPs or peers, something the Commission for Smart Government also mooted in a recent discussion paper. While outsiders can make … Continue reading

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One Person, Many Votes: Plural Voting In The UK

Although the concept of ‘one person, one vote’ seems axiomatic these days, that hasn’t always been the case. In the UK, plural voting was a legitimate practice for many centuries.    The right to vote in the UK was traditionally … Continue reading

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Government Unveils Bill To Repeal The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011

The Government today unveiled a draft bill to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. If the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill becomes law, the UK will go back to the pre-2011 arrangement where the Queen dissolves Parliament at the … Continue reading

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What Happened With The Brexit Bill?

Today was another day of high political drama in the House of Commons. Although MPs voted to give the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill a second reading, they failed to pass the programme motion necessary to progress the bill. But … Continue reading

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Bercow Fumbles

As MPs debate Brexit for what seems like the millionth time, Speaker Bercow has reiterated his opposition to a third ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement without substantive changes. Unfortunately, he also indicated that he won’t allow the Government … Continue reading

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Can MPs Really Take Control Of Brexit?

As the Brexit drama drags on, some commentators have suggested that MPs might try to take control of the process next week. But as we shall see, this would be easier said than done. The simplest way for MPs to … Continue reading

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Why Do People Bow When The Results Of Votes Are Announced In The Commons?

With all the drama in the Commons lately, there have been quite a few videos showing the moment when the results of key votes are announced to the House. They always show the same scene: four MPs line up in … Continue reading

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Bercow Nixes Third Vote On May’s Brexit Deal

Speaker Bercow has just ruled that there can’t be a third vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal unless it is substantially altered. While I’ve questioned Bercow’s handling of Brexit in the past, this ruling is spot on. Erskine May, the … Continue reading

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Whither Brexit?

In light of yesterday’s drama in the House of Commons, I thought I’d make a few observations on what these developments mean for Brexit. On Tuesday, MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a second time. As promised, MPs were … Continue reading

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Was Speaker Bercow Right To Bend The Rules?

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, made headlines last week when he allowed a backbench MP to table an amendment to the Government’s business motion setting out the terms for the rest of the debate on the … Continue reading

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