LONDON – Britain has never had a proper written constitution, which the British are proud of. As Americans haggle over their rules, British policy relies on a set of laws and practices condemned by the so-called good government officials with their impeccable sense of fair play.
However, popular belief in this approach has been severely shaken last week when Prime Minister Boris Johnson unilaterally decided to suspend Parliament at the height of a political crisis triggered by his determination to hold Brexit by 31 October with or without agreements with the European Union.
"We always felt we did not need these legal guarantees," said Professor Meg Russell, the director of the Constitution Unit at University College London. "We do not need judges to tell our politicians what to do, because we are one of the most mature democracies in the world, we are stable, we make politics good, but I think we'll probably be complacent."
Complacency may have been proven in the coming weeks, and Mr. Johnson could possibly refuse a litany of constitutional norms by the Queen's order to veto the Brexit laws, resign if Parliament ousts him, or new ones inventing national holidays to make sure that the legislature can not sit down.
All these hitherto unthinkable maneuvers Englisch: www.socialistgroup.eu/gpes/sessiond…05&place=STR parliamentary mavens and political activists working for Mr. Johnson on the plan to bring the country deeper into crisis and the Brexit struggle In a fight for Britain's future, parliamentary democracy itself is transforming.
"He is testing the system for destruction," Professor Russell said of Mr. Johnson. "Essentially, our constitution depends on very British laws on decency and fairness, and it requires that people who hold high office respect conventions, precedents, and unwritten rules. If you have a person in office who wants to demolish all these things, the system is fragile. "
Parliament will not be wholly excluded from the dispute over Brexit. It will return briefly from the summer break in a few days before being sent home by Mr. Johnson. It still has the power to stop Brexit without agreement, either through legislation or as a last resort by a vote of no confidence in the government, which could lead to a transitional government and general election.
Or not. It is only customary for prime ministers to resign after a vote of no confidence. There is no law that obliges them, and Mr. Johnson's camp has indicated that he may not do so.
Opposition lawmakers argue that Johnson's strategy is misleading a catastrophic and unpopular Brexit without an agreement that could rupture the UK, paralyze some British industries, and plunge the economy into recession. Cuts in food and drug shortages.
Mr. Johnson, whose allies rejected such bad prophecies as "Project Fear," sought to undermine competing legislators by urging the Queen to suspend the parliament for five weeks, a sharp break with the traditional span of several days of criticism, complaints about fate British democracy and partial praise. But none of that could stop Mr. Johnson.
"There are very few formal restrictions on politicians willing to trample on these conventions, except the reluctance of other members of parliament to accept it," said Robert Saunders, a historian at Queen Mary University of London. "This can only be stopped politically."
The role of the courts in these matters will be reviewed in the coming weeks, with judges being forced to decide on matters they have never met. An immediate challenge to the Prime Minister's action has been filed in Scotland. The judge refused to issue an injunction, but planned a hearing for Tuesday. A former conservative prime minister, John Major, joined a prominent businesswoman and opposition leaders in another legal challenge, which is expected to be negotiated later in the week.
When Parliament gathers and the opposition tries to stem the new militant Prime Minister.
Without a directly elected president, the British system relies on the democratic legitimacy of parliament, and the 650-member body is mandated to elect a government based on party commandos, a majority, or, as is currently the case, a majority coalition.
Mr. Johnson not only leads a minority government, but he has never made a stand for conservative leadership. He was taken to Downing Street by the approximately 90,000 contributing conservative party members who chose him as Theresa May's successor. Without strong support in parliament, he has tried to withdraw his mandate instead from the referendum in 2016, when the British voted 52 percent to 48 percent for Brexit.
And now Mr. Johnson has turned the screws on Parliament and given it almost no time for a challenge. It could be a conflict that the Constitution may not be able to decide.
"This is a fundamental violation of the most basic principles of the Constitution," said Dr. The tool of Downing Street could quickly become catastrophic.
"It's a short-term gain that causes significant long-term damage," he said. "They could win this fight, but it sets precedents that future governments will follow less after Boris' taste."
Scholars said they were worried not only about the encouragement Mr. Johnson received from President Trump on Twitter following the suspension of parliament, but also about how an anti-democratic move in the "Mother of Parliaments" such as called the British body that could encourage right-wing leaders around the world.
"What message does that send to Matteo Salvini, to Viktor Orban?" Said Professor Russell referring to populist politicians in Italy and Hungary. "What message does it send to Donald Trump? This is really serious. "
However, the risks to Britain's unwritten condition are not exclusively with Mr. Johnson. Scholars argue that it has been over recent decades, by attacks on the British parliamentary system and a series of happy changes by a political class so in love with their own reputation for smooth governance, that they forgot what constitutional instability looked like.
In Name In the wake of democratization, major political parties began to give contributing activists more power for tasks such as selecting the party leader. This has, according to Dr. Saunders led the Labor Party and Conservative leaders to say as much to the individual parties as to the legislators, undermining the authority of Parliament.
"They have treated their parties as if they were in-game organizations, such as the local golf club, where members elect a president and set the rules," Dr. Saunders. "But parties are not inward organizations, they are seeking the government of the country."
Yet, some analysts indicate that there are ways in which a troubled parliament can regain control – by deselecting Mr. Johnson's administration – If only it would stop shaking.
"The government is governing," said Vernon Bogdanor, a professor at King's College London. "If Parliament does not like it, it should get another thing for it Constitution and its service to Mr Johnson A former public service director warned against first considering "control of the country."
Perhaps the biggest question is how the British will react For the most part confident about leaving the European Union without an agreement, but given the current constitution, some analysts wonder whether the British are acting Mr. Johnson's actions to be so lenient.
Saunders. "Whether it will have this energizing effect on the general population, we do not yet know, but it will be an important part of the success or failure of its strategy."