Parliament after Brexit

This report by the UK think tank Institute for Government argues that Brexit has exposed deep-seated problems with parliamentary processes and highlighted uncertainties in the relationship between government ministers and MPs.

MPs and peers need to make sure that Parliament is ready to take on new functions and adapt old ways of working to be ready for a post-Brexit reality. Starting with the Supreme Court case over the need for parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50 negotiations, debate has played out in both Houses about the wide-ranging powers given to ministers and who should control the agenda in the Commons. The role of the Speaker has also been a flashpoint, because of the controversy over as his ability to select amendments to motions and bills.

Parliament needs to explicitly address these issues rather than simply assume that the UK will return to majority government and that closure will be reached on the divisive issue of Brexit. To address these two key challenges, the report says Parliament should establish a joint committee to offer strategic oversight which is currently lacking. The Government and the Opposition should actively engage with this process to ensure Parliament is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

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