Brexit

20 Feb 2017

Lords reform shouldn’t be a threat – it’s a core part of ‘taking back control’

Lords have begun debating the Article 50 Bill . With 191 speakers lined up and plenty of amendments tabled, it’s a fascinating moment for democracy and Britain’s constitution. What we’re witnessing is this: legislation that resulted from a form of direct democracy (a referendum) – and which itself followed a battle over whether Parliament should get a vote on it at all – is now being debated (and […]
3 Feb 2017

It’s time to put ‘take back control’ into action

It’s been a slow path, but the government’s White Paper on Brexit is another step towards giving Parliament a role in the Brexit negotiations. It’s not been without a struggle, though. Because we are still a representative democracy (despite the injection of public votes on some of the big issues), it’s understandable that the immediate post-referendum focus would be on Parliament. But Britain’s […]
24 Jan 2017

Taking back control: Why voters need a say on Brexit plans

This article was first published on Politics.co.uk Last week we got a clearer idea of Theresa May's approach to leaving the EU. She set out a 12-point plan which included leaving the single market, remaining partially in the customs union, and withdrawing from the European Court of Justice. It was a good speech. But where are the public on all this? June 23rd was not a total binary of winners and […]
18 Jan 2017

The public need a say on where power will lie after Brexit

So Theresa May has fleshed out her plans for Britain leaving the EU and becoming an independent self-governing nation. With more detail emerging about the economic plan, it’s time to look at the democratic implications. Serious thinking about democracy can all too often get left behind and the public shut out of these debates, as we’ve seen with English devolution. How our democracy actually […]
7 Nov 2016

1,000 new Peers? No thanks

“If the Lords was obstructive we would just have to create 1,000 peers.” So said Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on Thursday , following the High Court’s ruling that MPs will have a vote on the triggering of Article 50 – the process for withdrawing from the EU. It’s a terrifying thought. But it’s an attitude that we’ve heard too often over the years – that is, If the House of Lords does too much scrutiny, the […]
24 Oct 2016

It's time to 'take back control' of money in politics

The following is a guest post from Steve Goodrich, Senior Research Officer at Transparency International UK. The views, opinions and positions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Electoral Reform Society. Although Brexit has divided opinion across the country there’s one thing that everyone’s united on: it’s a massive deal. Some see it as a great […]
5 Sep 2016

Referendums are in vogue - so let's get them right

Referendums are becoming increasingly popular, internationally and domestically. Since the first UK referendum in 1975, the UK has held three nationally, and 11 in UK countries or English regions, with even more at a local level. And since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, two national referendums, a Scottish Independence referendum, and a Welsh devolution referendum have all been held. It […]
5 Jul 2016

5 things this EU vote has taught us about referendums

Whichever way you feel about the result, most people are glad the EU referendum campaign is over. To put it diplomatically, it wasn’t the highest quality debate in the world. Particularly for those on the losing side, referendums can seem like the worst way to do democracy – an instrument that leaves as many dissatisfied as satisfied with the result. But referendums aren’t good or bad in […]
30 Jun 2016

We can do referendums better in the UK. Here's how.

This article was first published by Times Red Box Last week’s referendum raised some serious questions about the nature of the democracy we have – and the type we want to create. Unlike other countries, in the UK we do referendums on an ad hoc basis, often to resolve (or try to resolve) internal party rifts. Nowhere was that more clearly seen than with the EU vote. But given the current post- […]
24 Jun 2016

The referendum can't be the end of the road for public engagement

Referendums are the ultimate public poll – giving all registered voters a direct say over a major decision of national importance. And yesterday 33 million voters took part in the EU referendum, the highest turnout in any UK-wide election since 1992 at 72%. This was a monumental decision that will have ramifications for decades to come. Referendums can be advisory, but in all recent UK examples […]