UK Political Outlook and Political System
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The political system in the United Kingdom is a complex and ever-changing landscape of 650 Members of Parliament (MPs), the House of Lords (with 800 members), and the Prime Minister, who is the head of government.
Brexit in the United Kingdom:
Since the 2016 referendum, Brexit has been the biggest talking point in UK politics. The referendum was won by the Leave side with 52% of the vote, and the UK officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020.
The country is now in a transition period until December 31, 2020, during which the UK and EU will try to negotiate a trade agreement for post-Brexit trading arrangements.
The General Election in the United Kingdom:
The UK holds general elections every five years, with a few exceptions. The most recent general election was held on December 12, 2019, in which the Conservative Party won a majority in the House of Commons.
This election was different, as it was dominated by the Brexit issue. There was a clear divide between the parties on the issue, with the Conservatives positioning themselves as the party to “get Brexit done,” and the Labour Party promising to hold another referendum.
Structure of UK Parliament:
The UK Parliament is made up of two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is made up of 650 elected Members of Parliament, who represent constituencies across the UK.
The House of Lords is made up of approximately 800 appointed members, including life peers, hereditary peers, and bishops of the Church of England. It acts as a revising chamber, examining legislation proposed by the House of Commons and making suggestions for amendment.
Roles of Political Parties:
There are several political parties in the UK, each with their own distinct ideologies. The Conservative Party is the current governing party, with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. They are generally seen as a center-right party, with a focus on low taxes, private business, and a strong national defense.
The Labour Party is the largest opposition party, led by Keir Starmer. They are traditionally seen as center-left, with a focus on social justice, workers’ rights, and public spending.
The Liberal Democrats are a centrist party, with a focus on individual freedom, civil liberties, and environmentalism. The Scottish National Party (SNP) is the largest party in Scotland, advocating for Scottish independence and greater autonomy from the UK.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: Who is the current Prime Minister of the UK?
A: Boris Johnson is the current Prime Minister of the UK.
Q: What is the Brexit transition period?
A: The Brexit transition period is the period between the UK officially leaving the EU on January 31, 2020, and the end of the year, during which both sides are negotiating a trade deal for post-Brexit trading arrangements.
Q: When is the next UK general election?
A: The next UK general election is scheduled for May 2, 2024.
Q: What is the House of Lords?
A: The House of Lords is the upper chamber of the UK Parliament, acting as a revising chamber, examining legislation proposed by the House of Commons and making suggestions for amendment.
Q: What are the major political parties in the UK?
A: The major political parties in the UK are the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish National Party.