Review of the UK Constitution: Final report

Think tank: Institute for Government

Author(s): Various authors

September 19, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government concludes an 18-month long Review of the UK Constitution.

The UK’s constitution has been tested to its limits and found in urgent need of reform. This report, published jointly by the Institute for Government and Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy, warns that a tumultuous period in UK politics has damaged trust in UK politics, its political institutions, and its international reputation as a stable democracy – with further injury inflicted by a series of scandals involving ministers and MPs, including those in the highest offices having been found to have broken the law. It concludes an 18-month long Review of the UK Constitution – supported by a high-level advisory board including former supreme court judge Baroness Hale, former ministers Sir Robert Buckland and Sir David Lidington, and shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Smith of Basildon and former Mayor of Liverpool, Joanna Anderson.

Taking a non-partisan and evidence-based approach, the review makes robust recommendations designed to re-assert the UK’s fundamental constitutional principles, establish them as a stable basis for the operation of government and reassure the public that they will be enforced. Recent years have seen governments willing to test or even break constitutional norms. The UK system allows significant constitutional changes to be made at speed, driven by narrow political party interests, without establishing broad consensus or a sense of wider public legitimacy. With no independent and authoritative source of constitutional knowledge to provide insight on constitutional issues or challenge short-sighted policy, partisan interests – rather than principles – have been allowed to drive constitutional change. The report sets out how strengthen the existing political constitution.