Opinion | The Radical Constitutional Change Britain Needs

To a degree not always recognised, the pace of political change in the UK has in fact been accelerating for some time, most conspicuously in terms of personnel. When Liz Truss was officially appointed prime minister by the queen last week, she became the third woman to hold that post. Truss’s new cabinet, too, is at the same time extremely conservative and in some respects unprecedentedly diverse. Its four most senior ministerial positions are held by women and individuals of African or Asian origin. Government institutions have also undergone many changes. Since 2009, the country has had a Supreme Court. Scotland and Wales currently have their own Parliaments, while Northern Ireland has its own Parliament with broad legislative power.

So far, you might think, very impressive. However, change is only partial and sometimes incompletely thought out. Yes, power was separated from London, but not sufficiently or systematically. Unlike Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, for example, England – the largest of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom – does not have its own separate assembly, and this has helped to rekindle democracy. Introverted, wrathful British race. At the same time, the restoration of parliament in Edinburgh has so far been unsuccessful in easing separatist sentiment in Scotland, while the Northern Irish parliament is currently stalled and nationalist sentiment is growing in the region. Wales.

Most importantly, there has been no systematic reshuffle of Westminster Parliament itself. Nor are the necessary measures put in place to monitor and regulate the growing power of British prime ministers, who are increasingly becoming presidents with ever more style and ambition, especially since from the long reign (1979-1990) of another formidable woman, Margaret Thatcher. .

All of these divisions, discontent and only partially thought out changes were exacerbated by the 2016 Brexit referendum, which exacerbated and accentuated divisions within Britain, rather than – as some had hoped – solve them. In the referendum there was a marked difference in voting between the young and the old, the highly educated and the uneducated. Most conspicuously, a majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland, along with most voters in London and major British cities, expressed a desire to remain in the European Union. However, by a narrow majority and essentially based on the strength of opinion in rural areas and depressed coastal communities, the referendum resulted in the country’s departure from the Union. . As a result, divisions remain, as do the economic consequences of Britain’s departure from its largest and closest commodity market.

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