You might be surprised to hear that Britain does not actually have a written constitution, and you might even think well if the rules are not all written down in one place then how do they all know what to do and how their country is run and why it is run that way. Well in many ways it’s complicated although when it comes to which institution holds the most power it is actually quite simple and in some ways advantageous and in others ways potentially dangerous.
But in plucky British stiff upper lippedness ,it is seen to have worked for Britain up until now and so if is not broken nobody sees any need to fix it. Although with the present ongoing attempt to leave the European Union there is a slight constitutional problem and alas as yet unfixed and this does matter to both Britain and European Union. Because although Britain might not have written constitution but EU does and Northern Ireland is one hot spot where the rules and regulations of one power block clash with those of another power block in that of European Union vs. Britain. As Britain is the least powerful partner in the divorce between the two and as it is Britain that is choosing to walk away from the European Union and where potentially the European Union negotiates with Britain regarding what powers it can have and what trading it can do with European Union and what it can’t when it has left the EU, this puts Europe in a powerful position and Britain in a potentially weak position.
So even after all that Britain still has no written constitution, so why is this the case and what does that mean for British power, laws and how does it get things done. Well ultimately our Parliament in little old Britain is sovereign, Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.
That is our strength and weakness pretty much tied up there the ability of parliament to create or end any law and to also pass laws that any future parliament can then go on to change. For a little old Blighty it means it has both the potential to adapt to matters of the day to enact laws and you would hope guide a country forward to do what is the right thing to do at the right time to do it. But on the other hand as power corrupts and people can given power, contracts, knighthoods and money so as to empower those whom support and prop up the institutions of government as they exist , then it also has potential for corruption and exploitation by those that benefit from and propping up the status quo.
One thought on “Britain’s changing times”
Technically the United Kingdom has an unwritten constitution (like my own country) i.e. the constitution lies in the laws and acts that have been passed by parliament. Yes it does have it’s advantages, as things can be easily changed, unlike actual written constitutions where it can be difficult to change things, such as clauses created several hundreds years ago regarding laws for irregular militia (for example) which are now impossible to change in this day and age…
LikeLiked by 1 person