The British political system evolved over several thousand years. First, warring tribes swore allegiance to a succession of kings to end the conflict. Then, they began to resent the monarch’s absolute power, and replaced the system with a commonwealth. The people reinstated the monarchy when the new leader attempted to create a personal dynasty. However, this time neither the king nor the Parliament had absolute power. This overview of British politics examines the current status quo.
Fast Forward to the Present Political Era
The current queen/ king of Britain is still the head of state, although the role is nowadays ceremonial. In fact the unwritten constitution does not define exactly what it is. The prime minister is the head of British government. Laws require approval of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. However, some roles devolve to semi-independent legislatures in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Britain divides into ceremonial counties for administrative convenience. The practical details are outside the scope of this overview of British politics, but suffice to say that they provide oversight over local authorities to make sure their activities join up. The former are responsible for the administration of matters directly affecting their communities. This brings local government to the people.
Overview of British Politics: Election of Lawmakers
The British Constitution requires that elected representatives approve laws. The House of Lords that exercises oversight is the sole exception. Britain is a multi-party democracy with power largely in the hands of Conservative and New Labour parties. However smaller political parties, and independent candidates, may also stand for election and quite often win.
The European Union enacted a number of laws conflicting with what the British people thought. This caused conflict especially over border control leading directly to a referendum. In this, the nation decided to leave the EU, potentially creating administrative and legislative gaps.
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