A second Brexit referendum: The problem of constitutional agency

In this first post in a series of 4 for the Political Quarterly, Albert Weale explores the reasoning behind the belief that running a second referendum would not be democratic. As a core British constitutional principle relies on the fact that Parliament cannot bind its successors, he invites us to consider Brexit as a changing process rather than a one-off binding event.    There might … Continue reading A second Brexit referendum: The problem of constitutional agency

How Come Such A Weak Deal?

Albert Weale applies elementary principle of bargaining theory to demonstrate that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration currently on the table are the best deal possible for the UK government given its own red lines and its starting-point.  The withdrawal agreement and declaration on a future relationship are regarded by both sides of the Brexit debate as a bad deal for the UK.  For Brexiteers, … Continue reading How Come Such A Weak Deal?

Why May is right – and therefore wrong

Analysing Theresa May’s Florence speech, Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, points to a series of contradictions in May’s line of argument, in what was otherwise a cogent and well crafted speech. Theresa May was absolutely right when she spoke in Florence on 22 September. Lucidly outlining the challenges of mass migration, terrorism, global climate change, the growth of protectionism … Continue reading Why May is right – and therefore wrong

Why democrats should welcome a hung parliament

Much commentary has presented the hung parliament that resulted from last week’s general election as a source of damaging instability. In this post, Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, argues that democrats should in fact welcome a hung parliament, where a parliamentary majority approves measures on the basis of the merits of the arguments rather than on the basis … Continue reading Why democrats should welcome a hung parliament

The Constitution of Democracy and the Pretensions of the Plebiscite

Reflecting on the government’s recent loss in the High Court, Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy, UCL, explains that the case brought to the fore a debate about which form of democracy is most legitimate: plebiscitary or parliamentary. Giving an overview of the two forms of democracy, Weale argues that plebiscitary democracy cannot be the basis of legitimate government. He notes that … Continue reading The Constitution of Democracy and the Pretensions of the Plebiscite