1. Exquisite Tweets from @henrymance

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Is this a constitutional crisis or a political one?

    You can argue both ways given British politics and constitution are two sides of the same coin. But I think the constitution has clearly failed to provide for today’s political scenario…

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    Henry Mance

    First, the constitution used to allow governments to define major votes as matters of confidence. That allowed John Major to pass Maastricht Treaty in 1993 even though Tory Eurosceptics hated it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_vote…

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    Henry Mance

    The 2011 Fixed-Term Parliaments Act ended this power, but there was very limited (no?) debate of what would happen if the prime minister couldn’t win major votes and survived a confidence vote. We now see the result is a zombie government

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    Henry Mance

    (The Act does say the law should be reviewed by 2020... Erm, arguably a bit late.)

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    Henry Mance

    Second, the British constitution has few conventions on how referendums should work. What happens when MPs can’t agree on what a referendum result means? Switzerland has a tradition of confirmatory referendums; UK doesn’t.

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    Henry Mance

    Brexit has shown lots of other constitutional uncertainty. Can government disregard motions passed by MPs? What happens when Stormont assembly can’t be established, or when gov promises to agree approach with devolved administrations, then doesn’t?

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    Henry Mance

    So would Brexit crisis be solved if politicians compromised? Arguably. But would you also change the constitution to prevent such deadlock in future? Absolutely.

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    Henry Mance

    In particular, many MPs accept that the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act needs a serious look. And both Leavers and Remainers backed this excellent UCL report on how to do referendums differently constitution-unit.com/2018/07/10/ref…

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    Henry Mance

    Right, back to sarcastic tweets.

    Oh, but please do read my long read on Brexit, which is not as dry as this thread ft.com/content/6a34f3…

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    Henry Mance