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What about the EU reveals an erosion of Parliamentary political sovereignty? (Hint = 1972).

How might Brexit change this?

European Communities Act of 1972 joined UK to the EU, made EU law superior to British law.

Brexit means that all this sovereignty will be given back to Westminster.


What court case reveals that Parliamentary sovereignty isn't actually being eroded?

What was the outcome of the case? Why? (Hint = citizens rights).

R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (2016). Court confirmed in 2017 that gov did not have prerogative power to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

This was because Parliament's approval was needed, as they represent EU citizens.


Why does devolution reveal an erosion of political sovereignty?

ECHR? Why would Brexit not change this?

It is hard to imagine that Parliament would take away the powers granted to Scottish, Welsh and NI assemblies.

Only in exceptional circumstances would Parliament assert its sovereignty over the ECHR. The ECHR is enforced by the European Court of Human Rights, not the European court of Justice (EU).


What must all members of government be? Who should authorise all political power exercised outside of Westminster?

What does the PM + ministers have to submit themselves to?

Parliament ; Parliament.

PMQs every Wednesday and 'Questions to Ministers Days'.


How many MPs are there? How many constituents per MP? How many government frontbenchers? shadow ministers?

650; 80-60k; 90; 50


What are the 3 roles of the speaker?

How do most MPs get the job?

Organise debates; maintain discipline; decide who gets to speak.

Start off as a local govt Councillor; win their seat in a general election.


How many peers are there? Hereditary peers? Life peers? Bishops? Tory peers? Labour peers?

808; 92; 692; 26; 248; 211. (248 and 211 as of Jan 2018).


What happens when a hereditary peer died? Who are life peers nominated by?

Their seat is awarded after a hereditary peers vote.

Life peers are nominated by the PM + all party leaders.


What can the House of Lords Appointments Committee do about life peers?

What convention determines the proportion of life peers?

Veto nominations.

Life peers are selected in numbers roughly proportional to the size of major parties in the Commons.


How many crossbenchers are there?



What convention usually ensures that public bills honouring government manifestos are passed through the Lords?

Why did have Lib Dem Peers suspended this since 2015 + 2017?

The Salisbury Convention.

They have suspended it since 2015 because the gov was elected on a small popular vote.

In 2017 they suspended it because of hung parliament + DUP.


When did the Lords vote on the government proposal to cut tax credits? What are tax credits?

October 2015; government support in the form of more lenient taxes on low-income families.


What amendment had the Lord insisted on regarding the legislation?

What did the government do in response?

An amendment that would basically reduce the legislation.

The gov didn't want to let the Lords delay it for a whole year, so they accepted the amendment and passed it quickly (didn't want to get bad press given the nature of the legislation).


What can MPs and Peers not be arrested, sued or prosecuted for?

But, how is the behaviour of MPs regulated?

Libel or slander.

By the parliamentary commissioner for standards and the speakers.


What are some punishments for MPs if they use provocative language?

Why were a number of fines levied on MPs?

Suspension of voting rights.

Because in 2009-10 it was found out that a lot of Peers and MPs were abusing the system of expenses.


Who accused Philip Green of sexual harassment? What did the High Court rule?

Who named Philip Green as the abuser via parliamentary privilege? When?

5 of his employees; ruled that the Telegraph couldn't publish the story as it would breach NDAs the employees signed.

Lord Hain (Peter Hain); October 2018.


Who comes up with public bills? What forms do they take?

Who comes up with private member's bills? Give an example.

The government of the day. The idea is floated around as a Green Paper, before being debated as a White Paper.

Individual MPs; an example is Wera Hobhouse's bill to criminalise 'upskirting' in 2018.


Give an example of a Tory peer appointed by Theresa May in 2018.

Sir Eric Pickles.


How many MPs are on Public Bill committees? Who are they selected by? Who forms the majority?

18; party whips; MPs from the government benches.


Why shouldn't the Commons be reformed?

The public is a lot more positive about local MPs than their MP in general - in 2007, an 'Audit of Political Engagement' found a net score of +29 people who thought their MP did a good job.

2005 - MPs survey; they spend 49% of their time doing constituency work.


Why should the commons be reformed?

2005 - 10% of Labour MPs manual workers.

1945-97, figures averaged 31%.

Ipsos Mori survey in 2007 found that 18% of people trusted politicians in general.


Why should the Lords not be reformed?

They do a lot of activism for the vulnerable, less likely to be performed by a commons that could submit to populist sentiment.


Why should we have a reformed (an elected) Lords?

Appointment of life peers open to abuse by leaders, resulting in charges of 'cronyism' (Paul Drayson 2004).