This special issue of Parliamentary Affairs brings together comparative research across European legislatures to see how much influence MPs’ day-to-day legislative and scrutiny work has on voters when they head to the polls. This issue also includes then-Commons Speaker John Bercow’s 2016 Bernard Crick Lecture, ‘Designing for Democracy’.
- Brexit or Corbyn? Campaign and Inter-Election Vote Switching in the 2017 UK General Election
Jonathan Mellon, Geoffrey Evans, Edward Fieldhouse, Jane Green, Christopher Prosser
- Democratic Legitimacy or Regional Representation: Support for Upper Chamber Reform in Scotland and Quebec
Mike Medeiros, Damien Bol, Richard Nadeau
- Answering the West Lothian Question? A Critical Assessment of ‘English Votes for English Laws’ in the UK Parliament
Daniel Gover, Michael Kenny
- UK Political Parties’ Youth Factions: A Glance at the Future of Political Parties
- Political Roots of Religious Exclusion in Turkey
Türkay Salim Nefes
- Seeking Evidence for a Welsh Progressive Consensus: Party Positioning in the 2016 National Assembly for Wales Election
Matthew Wall, Sophie Williams
- ‘Designing for Democracy’: The 2016 Sir Bernard Crick Lecture, University of Sheffield Given by the Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons on Thursday 27 October 2016
Special collection: Parliamentary work, re-selection and re-Election
Guest editors: Federico Russo and Zsofia Papp
- Parliamentary Work, Re-Selection and Re-Election: In Search of the Accountability Link
Zsófia Papp, Federico Russo
- Productivity and Reselection in a Party-based Environment: Evidence from the Portuguese Case
Enrico Borghetto, Marco Lisi
- Not All Roads Lead to Rome: The Conditional Effect of Legislative Activity on Reselection Prospects in Italy
Francesco Marangoni, Federico Russo
- Do Personalised Campaigns Hint at Legislator Activities? The (Lacking) Relationship Between Campaigns and Legislator Behaviour in Hungary
- Parliamentary Activity, Re-Selection and the Personal Vote. Evidence from Flexible-List Systems
Thomas Däubler, Love Christensen, Lukáš Linek
- The Electoral Value of Constituency-Oriented Parliamentary Questions in Hungary and Romania
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Lord Frost’s appointment as Minister of State in the Cabinet Office to lead on UK-EU relations brings some welcome clarity about future government arrangements in this area. However, it also raises challenges for parliamentary scrutiny, above all with respect to his status as a Member of the House of Lords.
There was controversy on 9 February over whether the government had used procedural trickery to swerve a backbench rebellion in the House of Commons on a clause inserted in the Trade Bill by the House of Lords. Apparently, it was something to do with ‘packaging’. What does that mean, and was it true? The answer is all about ‘ping-pong’.
The contrasting post-Brexit fates of the two Houses’ EU-focused select committees have come about through processes in the Lords and the Commons that so far have differed markedly. This difference reflects the distinction between government control of business in the Commons, and the largely self-governing nature of the Lords.
Before Brexit, mechanisms for inter-parliamentary relations and scrutiny of inter-governmental relations in the UK were unsatisfactory. Post-Brexit, the need for reform has become urgent. There should be a formal inter-parliamentary body, drawn from all five of the UK’s legislative chambers, with responsibility for scrutiny of inter-governmental working.
The end of the transition period is likely to expose even more fully the scope of the policy-making that the government can carry out via Statutory Instruments, as it uses its new powers to develop post-Brexit law. However, there are few signs yet of a wish to reform delegated legislation scrutiny, on the part of government or the necessary coalition of MPs.
Parliament’s role around the end of the Brexit transition and conclusion of the EU future relationship treaty is a constitutional failure to properly scrutinise the executive and the law. As the UK moves to do things differently after 1 January, MPs must do more to ensure they can better discharge their responsibilities regarding the making of UK treaties.