Mark and Ruth look at the growing fashion for re-writing Bills mid-air as they pass through Parliament, adding on all sorts of policy bells and whistles at the last minute.
Plotting a roadmap through the constitutional issues, and setting the situation in its historical context, this June 2017 briefing paper highlights and explains key parliamentary dates, events and procedures that shape the process of forming and sustaining a minority government, focusing on the 2017 case.
The fundamental principle at the heart of our parliamentary democracy is that the government must command the confidence of the House of Commons. In the event of a hung Parliament, where no party secures an outright majority, the arithmetic presents politicians with a conundrum: who commands MPs' confidence, and should therefore govern?
The answer to this question is determined through a complex nexus of constitutional conventions, laws and precedents, party political calculations and gauging of the public mood. Guidance and rules exist to help resolve who should govern, including in the form of the Cabinet Manual and the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.
This June 2017 briefing paper addresses how a government is formed and then sustained in office when the House of Commons is hung, focusing on the 2017 situation. It also looks at how a minority government might operate in Parliament, focusing on the impact it may have on parliamentary process and procedure.
Historical comparisons and precedents
What does 'command confidence' mean?
The incumbent Prime Minister: stay or go?
When will Parliament meet?
The State Opening of Parliament: will the Queen attend?
The Queen's Speech debate: confidence of the House?
Will there be a second general election?
What difference does the Fixed Term Parliaments Act make?
Seats vs votes: what counts?
An alternative party leader / Prime Minister?
How long can be taken to form a government?
Does it matter if votes are lost?
What about the House of Lords?
Will minority government mean less legislation?
Will the Speaker's casting vote influence decisions?
Managing time: potential problems ahead
The establishment and composition of select committees
The fiscal maze
Delegated legislation: an increase in deferrals and withdrawals?
Accountability and transparency
Delegated legislation is the most common form of legislation in the United Kingdom. It is the legislation of everyday life, impacting millions of citizens daily. But the terminology and procedures that surround it are complex and often confusing. This explainer unpacks delegated legislation - the terminology and Parliament's role in scrutinising it - to reveal more about how delegated legislation really works.
What a week! Suella Braverman's sacking from Government was immediately eclipsed by the appointment of former Prime Minister David Cameron as the new Foreign Secretary. Mark and Ruth explore the many questions this raises, not least for scrutiny of foreign affairs by MPs.
The Prime Minister’s decision to cancel the next stage of HS2 has given rise to criticism that once again the Government has ridden roughshod over Parliament. Just over 1,300 hours of legislative time have been spent on four HS2-related Bills over nine Sessions in the last decade. Why has it taken so long and what now happens to that legislation?
When parliamentarians reassemble at Westminster on 7 November for the start of the new Session, all eyes will be on the legislative programme to be announced in the King’s Speech. Speculation about the likely date of the next general election is rife at Westminster, but until the date is settled there are a lot of parliamentary issues still to be tackled. We’ve picked out a few things to look out for on the political horizon.