Welcome to parliamentuk.com

Here’s some nonsense and bits of good stuff going on, in and around the UK Parliament :

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists. Not so good when people obey and acclaim him. Worse when they despise him. If you fail to honour people, they fail to honour you"           Lao-Tzu

The UK Parliament represents the people of the United Kingdom and has the power to make decisions and pass laws on issues that affect us all.

The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states.

The tension between the powers of the UK Parliament and the European Union is a hot topic for the UK Parliament following the 2014 General Election.

e-petitions: get your issue debated in the house of Commons

e-petitions are a way for you to influence government policy in the UK.

You can create an e-petition about anything that the government is responsible for and if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, it will be eligible for debate in the House of Commons.

How e-petitions work

Create a new e-petition


Some sensible stuff:

The UK Parliament is made up of two Houses – the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons has 646 Members of Parliament (MPs). The political party with the most MPs in the House of Commons forms the Government. The House of Lords has around 700 unelected members who scrutinise the work of the House of Commons.

The UK Parliament is the primary democratic body in the UK and is comprised of three parts: the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Sovereign. The UK is a parliamentary democracy and different from many other democracies in not having a written constitution.

Each House of Parliament has rolex replica uk its own set of Members and rules by which it conducts its business. Those members each have an equal say in the running of their House and neither House interferes in the running of the other. Legislation may impact on either House but any such legislation would normally require assent of both Houses to come into force.

The Parliament of the fake omega United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, (commonly referred to as the British Parliament or the Westminster Parliament) is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories, located in London.

Parliament possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and its territories. At its head is the rolex uk Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.

The UK parliament has an upper house, the House of Lords, and a lower house, the House of Commons. The Queen is the third component of the legislature.

The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual (the senior bishops of the Church of England) and the Lords Temporal (members of the Peerage) whose members are not elected by the population at large, but are appointed by the Sovereign on advice of the Prime Minister.

Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009 the House of Lords also performed a judicial role through the Law Lords.

The House of Commons is a democratically elected chamber with elections to it held at least every five years. The two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster (commonly known as the Houses of Parliament), in London.

All government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less often, the House of Lords, and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature.

The House of Commons is the obvious focus of democratic attention as all of its members are elected to their seat in their House but both the Commons and the Lords play their part in the parliamentary process and provide very individual contributions.

The democratic mandate of the House of Commons provides several benefits over the House of Lords such as the right to legislate on financial matters. The Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 provided the House of Commons the ultimate say on the passage of legislation (the Lords were now only able to delay legislation rather than block it indefinitely) but also limited the term of a Parliament to five years. The House of Lords, through the Salisbury Convention, acknowledges the democratic process in not blocking legislation brought to parliament in fulfilling the manifesto of an elected government.

The democratic mandate of the House of Commons arises through the fact that all UK citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote in Parliamentary elections. An overview of the expansion of the right to vote (franchise) is provided later in this document.

Government and Parliament

The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland passing Acts of Union. Parliament was further enlarged by the ratification by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland of the Act of Union (1800), which abolished the Irish Parliament; this added 100 Irish members to the Commons and 32 to the Lords to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It has been called "the mother of parliaments", its democratic institutions having set the standards for many democracies throughout the world. 

In theory, supreme legislative power is vested in the Queen-in-Parliament; in practice in modern times, real power is vested in the House of Commons, as the Sovereign generally acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords have been limited

After a General Election, the leader of the political party with the most MPs in the House of Commons is asked by the Sovereign to take the role of Prime Minister and to form a government. If no single party has a majority of MPs in the Commons, two or more parties can work together as a coalition government.The Prime Minister may select people (most often MPs and Peers) to become Ministers. Ministers run government departments such as the Home Office and the Treasury and are responsible for formulating policy in the areas they are responsible. If the policy requires new legislation then the Ministers bring Bills before Parliament, hoping that Parliament will allow these Bills to become Acts of Parliament.

The government of the day has a commanding role in the House of Commons to reflect the dominance of the political party which achieved a majority membership in the House. The government controls the business of the House of Commons and dictates the subject of debate apart from 13 opposition days. This ensures that the elected government can progress the issues upon which it was elected to govern the country.

The procedures of the House of Commons serve both the needs of the government and the requirements of political control over government. The executive is entitled to use Parliament for the purposes of governing and will expect to secure the passage of its legislation. But equally it has to account publicly to Parliament and in turn Parliament has powers of control in relation to government.

The House of Commons has four core roles; it scrutinises the work of government, proposes and amends legislation, represents the citizens of the UK within the Parliament system and has the ability to amend taxation.

The House of Commons has a variety of ways to ensure that the government is working for the benefit of the country. MPs may question government ministers. They can do this directly on the floor of the House during the regular question times throughout the week. Each government department will regularly send Ministers to the House of Commons to answer questions of MPs. They can also ask questions in writing.

Through careful questioning of Ministers, MPs can become better informed as to how government policy is working in a variety of policy areas.

The House of Commons has a broad range of committees through which it also scrutinises the government. The Departmental Select Committees were established to ‘shadow’ government departments and to conduct inquiries into issues where there may be cause for concern over the performance of government departments. The government is committed to providing people and papers to produce evidence before such committees and to responding to recommendations made in committee reports.

Minor legislation making powers are often delegated to government departments and that legislation can be scrutinised by Delegated Legislation Committees.

More generally, MPs scrutinise the government by debating issues on the floor of the House and by questioning Ministers when they make statements to the House.

Proposing and Amending Legislation

All new legislation has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament. The House of Commons looks at legislative proposals (Bills) several times before approving them or not.

Bills can be introduced to the House by the government or by individual MPs (known as Private Members’ Bills).

The House will debate the principles of the legislation before asking a committee of MPs to scrutinise the Bill line by line. The committee often make changes to the text and this amended text will be sent back to the floor of the House for further consideration and potential change by the whole of the House of Commons. When all of the consideration and change is complete the House has to agree to the finished text before the Bill can progress.

The House of Lords follows a similar process of scrutiny on a bill and both Houses must come to an agreed text before the Bill can be passed to the Queen for Royal Assent at which point the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

The UK democratic system provides citizens with the ability to elect representatives (MPs) into the House of Commons.

The UK is divided into 650 areas called constituencies. Each Member will have gained a majority of the votes cast in their constituency at the last election and will retain the position of MP until the next election or they give up the role (though this only happen in rare occasions).

All residents within a constituency can contact the MP for that area about issues that affect them or that are coming to Parliament for consideration. It does not matter whether they voted for the MP during the election or whether the resident is entitled to vote.

The House of Commons as the democratically elected element of Parliament has the right to raise taxes from those living in the UK. The raising of taxes is done to ensure that the government has enough money available to deliver the policies that it proposes to carry out. The Chancellor of the Exchequer comes before the House on an annual basis to provide a budget that details how the government would like to tax the people to pay for its policies. The House, if convinced, passes a Finance Bill to enable these taxes to be paid.

The expansion of the right to vote

In the UK, citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote in elections. In each of the 646 constituencies a majority of voters resident in that constituency choose one candidate to send to the House of Commons. Those people, MPs, constitute the part of Parliament that represents the people of the country.