background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Brexit case 'of fundamental constitutional importance' Tory MPs accuse May of 'tyranny' as vote on Brexit terms ruled out. Brexit: What are the options? Alastair Campbell: New Labour helped sow seeds of Brexit vote. Daily and Sunday Politics manifesto tracker: Constitution. The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know. Image copyright Getty Images.

The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know

Brexit: Radical change needed to save UK, Carwyn Jones says. Image copyright Getty/BBC.

Brexit: Radical change needed to save UK, Carwyn Jones says

What is the EU and how does it work? Constitutional reform. The Tory plan to scrap the Human Rights Act just moved one step closer. The Government will publish its plans to replace the Human Rights Act in the autumn of this year, ministers have announced.

The Tory plan to scrap the Human Rights Act just moved one step closer

Asked in the House of Commons when the detailed plan for the Government’s “British Bill of Rights” would be made public, Dominic Raab said it would be available soon. “We will bring forward proposals on a bill of rights this autumn, they will be subject to full consultation. Should we repeal the Human Rights Act? Bill Cash MP says yes When I was shadow attorney general, I recommended – and my party accepted – that we repeal the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998.

Should we repeal the Human Rights Act?

The Act does not protect British people from harm, let alone their liberties. It should also not be up to unelected judges to decide on what amounts to policy matters in the British national interest. My view of repeal was instituted as Conservative Party policy, which continued through to the last election. The Conservative manifesto, on which all Conservative MPs campaigned at the 2010 general election, stated: “To protect our freedoms from state encroachment and encourage greater social responsibility, we will replace the Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights.”

Lords v Commons: Tax credit battle gets constitutional. Image copyright Getty Images The government has been defeated in the House of Lords over its plans to cut tax credits in what is being described as a constitutional crisis.

Lords v Commons: Tax credit battle gets constitutional

What's going on? Anger over tax credits. What is the EU and when was it formed? Each of the countries within the Union are independent but they agree to trade under the agreements made between the nations.

What is the EU and when was it formed?

Twenty two of the member states also belong to the Schengen Area, which is comprised of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and border controls at their common borders. Of the countries that are not part of it, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania all intend to join, while the United Kingdom and Ireland have opted out. When was the European Union formed? After the Second World War there was a new movement to create unity between Germany and France, which would ultimately lay the foundations for the European Union four decades later.

The EU can trace its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed in 1951 and 1958 respectively by the Inner Six countries of Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Michael Gove fails to mention Human Rights Act in Conservative Party Conference speech. For a Conservative Justice Secretary looking to fire up the faithful at the party conference there are three words that have always done trick: Human Rights Act.

Michael Gove fails to mention Human Rights Act in Conservative Party Conference speech

So it is all the more surprising that those were the three words that were noticeably absent from Michael Gove's speech to delegates in Manchester today. When he was appointed to the job by David Cameron after the election the Prime Minister made clear that scrapping the 'hated' legislation would be top of his new Justice Secretary's agenda. But the admirably independent Mr Gove has had other ideas. He wants to be a reforming Justice Secretary- but his plans for reform are rather different from those that his party might have hoped for. He wants to concentrate his energies on changing Britain's prison system: selling off outdated Victorian institutions; giving new powers to prison governors to innovate to cut reoffending and most importantly put eduction, training and skills at the heart of the prison system. Vernon Bogdanor: The crisis of the constitution.

It is hard to find a word held so low in the public esteem as “communalism”.

Vernon Bogdanor: The crisis of the constitution

For most people it carries a toxic whiff of both “communism” and “commune”, implying dropouts, flakes, fanatics and cultish leaders. If you’re in any doubt about how frightening the word is to the average citizen, try telling your next-door neighbour you’re going to live communally: they will veer away from you (believe me, I’ve done it), imagining drugs, sexual deviancy and squalor.

Evangelists for communalism – a way of life in which people agree to share, or have in common far more than is normal in the “real world” – have an uphill struggle to rehabilitate the concept. It is rare to get beyond snide comments about freeloaders or free-lovers. I have written two books about communalism and both times it was fantastically difficult to persuade friends, let alone my agent and publishers, that communalism has something fascinating to say about and to our society. So what? Lord O’Donnell: leader of largest party does not automatically become PM. Gus O’Donnell, the former cabinet secretary, has reminded David Cameron that he signed up to a Whitehall document that says the next prime minister will be the leader who commands the confidence of MPs, regardless of whether their party has won the election.

Lord O’Donnell: leader of largest party does not automatically become PM

In a sign of concerns in Whitehall that constitutional conventions should be followed if voters elect the most balanced parliament in nearly a century, Lord O’Donnell indicated that the leader of the largest party does not automatically become prime minister. O’Donnell spoke out after the Cameron accused Ed Miliband of preparing a “con trick” to enter No 10 with the support of the SNP.

In an intensification of his warnings about the dangers of a post-election deal between Labour and the SNP, the prime minister said such an arrangement would raise huge questions about the credibility of that government. O’Donnell told Today: “We live in a parliamentary democracy. English vote plan to become law despite objections - BBC News. English votes: What's going on? - BBC News. Image copyright PA The government is attempting to change the way MPs make laws to reflect the fact that the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood is getting more power.

English votes: What's going on? - BBC News

It is trying to solve a problem that has dogged Westminster for decades - why should Scottish (and sometimes Welsh and Northern Irish MPs) get a say over laws that only affect England when English MPs no longer have a say over an increasing tranche of areas - like schools. The solution it has come up with is a complex one, to anyone not steeped in the arcane procedures of the House of Commons.

And it is attracting criticism from all sides. Here's what is going on and why it matters. Why does it matter? Image copyright Reuters When Scotland voted last year to remain part of the UK, David Cameron promised significantly increased powers for the Scottish Parliament, including the ability to set some tax and benefit levels. Why not just set up an English Parliament?

Videos & Radio