Britain’s vote to withdraw from the EU triggered a series of debates about the nature of the British state and political system, not least the role of the U.K. parliament. While focus has been on U.K.-EU negotiations, institutional developments within the United Kingdom have been equally important to anybody wishing to understand Brexit.
Here are some key points of the Mercator European Dialogue Publication by Dr. Tim Oliver, Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University London:
• Parliament has been the site of intense arguments and differences over what the U.K.’s vote to leave should mean, not least when it comes to approving the U.K.-EU Withdrawal Agreement. The deep divisions in the Conservative and Labour parties especially, reflect similar divisions in British society.
• Parliament has been somewhat more united and effective in its scrutiny of Brexit, although the centralised and secretive nature of the U.K. state remains a big obstacle.
• Deep divisions and uncertainty over the direction of Brexit, especially over the U.K.-EU Withdrawal Agreement, has given rise to suggestions, albeit constitutionally controversial ones, that Parliament could take control of the process by directing the executive in terms of policy.
Find the MED’s publication here.