Talk:Parliament of the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Former featured article Parliament of the United Kingdom is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 16, 2006.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 14, 2004 Featured article candidate Promoted
March 11, 2008 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article
WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles that are spoken on Wikipedia.


The following was added to the article page by user:Amunra reborn:

This Article needs a rework. There is no such thing as "Parliament of the United Kingdom". The UK is a collection of four countries who are members of the British Government (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). The British government governs more than just these four countries, ie Gibraltar, Falkland Islands etc.

Out of the four countries in the UK, only England does not have its own local law making body. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own Parliament under which reports to the British Parliament. Wales has the Welsh Assemble which has slightly less power. There is no equivalent ruling body to represent England's interest who are ruled directly by the British Government.

You are misinformed. The Parliament that meets at Westminster is the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the same thing you call the "British Parliment". However the Scottish and Northewrn Ireland Parliaments and Welsh Assembly do not "report" to the British Parliament. They have devolved legislative powers. Peterkingiron (talk) 20:05, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

You are right, they have some devolved legislative powers but they are not stand alone. They do still accept some laws from the British Government and they have seats in Westminster and effect laws that spread over the whole UK, see the governments own website for an explanation of this:

I do however concede the British Government seems to be called the United Kingdom Parliament. When I was thought at school the term UK was hardly ever used, when and how was it introduced as the replacement for Britain? If this is the new name for the same governmental body does this really mean the Falkand Islands are governed by the UK parliament despite not being in the UK! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Amunra reborn (talkcontribs) 09:00, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the country's full name, and has been since 1801/1927. Britain is often used as a shorthand way of describing it, deriving from the island/preceding kingdom of Great Britain which makes up the main landmass. And yes, as an overseas territory of the UK, the Falklands are subject to any laws passed by Westminster that are specified to apply to them, though generally most matters are left to their own LegCo. - Chrism would like to hear from you 15:37, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

The article is too long and spends too much time discussing procedural minutia, particularly historical procedural minutiaNigelrg (talk) 15:37, 10 May 2015 (UTC)


I added two {{dubious}} tags. The two statements I added the tags to are obviously only true during a majority government. The UK Parliament, and other Parliaments modeled after it, use the "first past the post" model of election, so minority governments are not that frequent. But they do occur, and the UK Parliament is a minority government right now.

In the UK and similar systems compromising with some of the other parties is essential, because a defeat of a funding bill means the current PM and cabinet have lost the confidence of the House. The PM has to report this to the Sovereign, or GG. The PM has to step down. Either the leader of another party is given a chance to form a government, or there is another election.

I suspect the questionable sentences were drafted prior to the current minority government. Geo Swan (talk) 14:46, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

We do not have a minority government: we have a coalition government (with a small majority). Peterkingiron (talk) 16:38, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Are the tagged statements untrue in a coalition government? EllenCT (talk) 03:52, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

General advice[edit]

Today the state is called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and has had that name since the creation of the Irish state in 1924 and when the area now known as the Republic of Ireland left the Union. The term 'Britain', as the previous writer noted is used as shorthand because the full title is rather a mouthful. The terms Britain and British isles are geographical terms not political. Before that it was called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the time of the Act of Union with Ireland in 1801. Before that England, Scotland and Wales were called Great Britain from the Act of Union with Scotland in 1707. Hence Queen Anne was the first Queen of Great Britain and so styled herself. James VI and I was king of two nations, England and Scotland but he called them collectively --Britain. With regard to the constitution, you are all getting yourselves into a terrible muddle when you need not. The issues you are struggling with are quite clearly laid out in any number of reputable books. But I suggest you go to ones by British authors who do not try to explain the constitution of the United Kingdom in terms of those of other countries but on its own terms. Dicey got himself into all sorts of bother in the end and Jennings put the whole thing into a far more sensible perspective but he is now outdated because of devolution etc. Having said that the theory is that Parliament is sovereign body of the state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, that state having existed since 1924. It is the supreme legislative body of the state and consists of the Queen-in-Parliament. The concept of the Monarch-in-Parliament dates back to Henry VIII, before that time the Monarch was completely separate from Parliament. Sovereignty is expressed when the monarch assents to legislation. There are strange and difficult to define aspects of the British Constitution (like conventions) but don't get bogged down in them, they are not worth it. Just start with a political definition and treat the legal explanations with circumspection. Dicey is not without his critics (amongst political scientists, if not lawyers). Of course, if you want to take reality into account then the concept of national sovereignty is very dubious nowadays anyway. You can try Anne Lyons' Constitutional History of the United Kindom (unlike Bagehot and Dicey who referred to the "English" constitution or "English" constitutional law). If you really want to go back into the history of parliament, then try Maitland, or read Elton on Maitland (where he points out Maitland's errors and also the difficulty historians have dealing with lawyers) and, of course Milsom.Sgmp (talk) 23:18, 26 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sgmp (talkcontribs) 23:14, 26 June 2011 (UTC)


Your edit summary is flawed, for instance, the article at United Kingdom begins: "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe." It would be absurd to change that article's title or (the bold type in the) first sentence. Cheers, Chrisieboy (talk) 14:50, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I've reverted my edit - you are correct. It makes sense to have the full title in bold because redirects with the full title also direct to the article. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 15:02, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

what's in a name?[edit]

I am just beginning to realise that some people feel very strongly about names! I changed 'Kingdom of Great Britain' to 'United Kingdom of Great Britain' yesterday because it is what the sources also call it, and I have been reverted by this morning.

Realising how touchy people seem to be, I though I should explain what I have done in this article so it is not just immediately reverted by someone who doesn't 'get it' - I have added the following phrase:

Confusingly, the UK parliament website chooses to refer to this merged parliament as 'the Parliament of the United Kingdom' stating "The Parliament of the United Kingdom met for the first time in October 1707"[1]

I have done this because I don't think we can just ignore what the UK parliament website says about itself but I've tried to say it in a way that should not mean people think I am trying to change the name of the parliament from 'Parliament of Great Britain' which it was clearly called in the Treaty of Union. (talk) 11:14, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Reverted; the 1st Parliament of the United Kingdom followed the 18th Parliament of Great Britain. Are you User:Fishiehelper2? Chrisieboy (talk) 15:33, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Political groups graphic[edit]

The coloration used for the three Plaid Cymru members in the infobox graphic does not match the colour in the key. Can that be resolved by someone here, or does it need to go to WP:GL, or somewhere else? Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:20, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Merge UK Parliamentary questions[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge Aaronjbaylis (talk) 15:15, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

I propose that UK Parliamentary questions be merged into Parliament of the United Kingdom. I think that the content in the UK Parliamentary questions article can easily be explained in the context of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and the Parliament of the United Kingdom article is of a reasonable size in which the merging of UK Parliamentary questions will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. Subin.a.mathew (talk) 17:09, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I concur that UK Parliamentary questions can safely be merged into Parliament of the United Kingdom since the nature of the questions article means it pertains solely to the UK Parliament. I have performed the merger on 8 March 2012, placing the content of the questions article in the Relationship with the Government section of the Parliament article. Aaronjbaylis (talk) 15:15, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

About the Parliament of the UK[edit]

I have just completed the French article “histoire du Royaume –Uni” with a short text and link to “Parliament of the UK”, as British history and the history of its Parliament are clearly bound to each other. But the article Parliament of the United Kingdom appears “not to be clear enough” according to the banner “?”. And the suggestion is to improve it is to insert precise “citations”. Now, my own suggestion for a better comprehension of the British “living heritage” ( for democracy is to create a link to the article Forty Shilling Freeholders, one of its fundaments for almost six centuries, from “1430 to 1832” and to the XX° century, under a different financial rate, as this article offers a stronger links with history, than the mere concept of Freeholder, too easily translated into French with empty definitions such as “inhabitant of a place”… — Preceding unsigned comment added by Crocy (talkcontribs) Crocy (talk) 00:48, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

  • And now, the question is : how to do this best ? I thank the specialists to correct my possible attempts to introduce this (most important) link (since my attempt to introduce the french version for "Forty shilling freeholders" is beeing attacked before "deletion")Crocy (talk) 00:55, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
  • As the British Parliament appears to be characterised by the presence of two Houses, I suggest to introduce the former discussed link under the fact that the British living heritage stands on in the pursuit of the "commonwealth between classes", and henceforth, "the effort to maintain" it, just as freeholders do. Don't they ? Crocy (talk) 01:19, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
  • And not very surprisingly, the French part of Wikipedia presents the Commonwealth (la chose publique [[1]]) as "opposed to a state governed by the members of a unique class", and still states it as the governement of one class only : "le peuple". Crocy (talk) 01:24, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Mother of parliaments[edit]

Quote: It has been called "the mother of parliaments",[7] its democratic institutions having set the standards for many democracies throughout the world,[8] and the United Kingdom parliament is the largest Anglophone legislative body in the world.

Comment: Well, yes, it has often been called that, but only by people who did not know they were misquoting John Bright. He said this NOT of the UK Parliament, but of England herself. The actual words he used on 18 January 1865 in Birmingham were: "England is the mother of parliaments". (Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Revised 4th ed, 1996, p. 141).

So, if we're going to include these words in this article, we have to point out they're a misquotation, otherwise we just perpetuate the untruth, as we've been doing up till now. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:06, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

I've now redirected Mother of Parliaments, which was a redirect to here, to a discrete article called The mother of parliaments (expression). And I've completely separated it out from Mother of Parliament, with which it had no relationship. I've also corrected the heading of the short section in John Bright's article that had the quote as "The Mother of all Parliaments".
I hope I've managed to shed some light on what has been a pile of confusion. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:35, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I've now amended the lede to make it clear the expression is a misquotation when applied to the Parliament. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 22:35, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Bicameral in theory, largely unicameral in practice[edit]

Hey. I understand that UK's parliament is bicameral in essence. However, I feel we should include that due to the restrictions the House of Lords has, bicameralism is purely asymmetrical and the House of Lords' function is largely ceremonial. The only important power that the House of Lords possesses is to delay money bills for a month and all other bills for a year. Due to this limitations, it might in fact be called a "near-unicameral" parliament, according to Arend Lijphart. [2] (page 18). What do you think? Thank you. ComputerJA (talk) 18:08, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Bicameral does not imply equal - being asymmetrical does not stop it being bicameral. Fishiehelper2 (talk) 11:57, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
That, and the Lords has a lot more power in practice than it does on paper. Being able to delay a bill for a year is actually normally quite damaging to the government's legislative agenda, and governments will normally compromise with the Lords on amendments to legislation in order to avoid significant delay. Far more amendments are made to government legislation in the Lords than in the Commons, where governments have a majority to block anything they don't want to put up with. 'Largely ceremonial' is very much an over-statement of the case. - Chrism would like to hear from you 12:17, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
ComputerJA is wrong. The House of Lords' ultimate power is very limited, but it fulfils a useful function in scrutinising most legislation. In practice, the Commons can almost always insist on having things its own way. In most cases, when the Commons insists, the House of Lords climbs down, but it is frequently able to persuade the government that it is wrong. With the whips being much weaker in the Lords, the government cannot get legislation through its committee stage by voting down all amendments as happens all too often in the Commons. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:42, 7 April 2012 (UTC)


As far as I can tell, there are no dignitries, so I think the word should be dignitaries. All the best. Andy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC)


Previously an anon. IP and now in the form of X.equilibrium.x - suggest editors new to this see the article's page history. Argovian (talk) 11:17, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Still keeping an eye on it. BethNaught (talk) 11:42, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Argovian (talk) 20:55, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

As you consider myself to be vandal for highlighting DELIBERATELY MISLEADING, INACCURATE AND FALSE INFORMATION, regardless of my proccess, what does that make you? — Preceding unsigned comment added by X.equilibrium.x (talkcontribs) 13:05, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Sane? Argovian (talk) 20:55, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Parliament of England and Parliament of Great Britain[edit]

The current parliament directly descends from the Parliament of England. The traditions, structure, chambers, voting systems and seat of the parliament has remained largely unchanged since the 17th century. Why do we only cover this institutions history since 1801, if it was developed two centuries earlier? Rob984 (talk) 16:21, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

As you say, the UK Parliament is clearly a descendant of the English and GB Parliaments; however, the United Kingdom only came into existence in 1801. There are cross-references to Parliament of England, Parliament of Scotland, Parliament of Great Britain and Parliament of Ireland at the top of the "History" section, for information on the current institution's antecedents. Alkari (?), 16 February 2015, 20:51 UTC

There needs to be a note in the lede about electing the P.M.[edit]

I would suggest adding a line at the end of the third paragraph in the lede about the election of the PM. It may seem terribly unnecessary to everyone over there but Americans don't understand how it works. I can't tell you how many times I heard a talking head on TV say that "Cameron had been re-elected", or how historians express shock that Churchill wasn't re-elected in 1945. I know this is explained in greater detail in the body of the article, but something like, "This means that the electorate never votes directly for a candidate for the office of Prime Minister" should be added at the end of that paragraph. Remember that you are writing for a world wide audience, some of whom aren't the least bit familiar with the parliamentary system, and school kids looking for info don't often bother to read further beyond the lede. __209.179.16.138 (talk) 16:48, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Edit warring re: composition pic[edit]

Theowrig (talk), as can be seen both on this page and at House of Commons of the United Kingdom, seems intent on changing the diagram showing the current composition of Parliament to a new format, without consensus, and despite being reverted by numerous different people, and without any response to invitations via editnotice or messages left on their talkpage. - Chrism would like to hear from you 20:32, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Parliament of the United Kingdom. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 08:24, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Parliament of the United Kingdom. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 22:15, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Status re: dissolution[edit]

We've recently had this article, as well as those of the Commons and Lords, stating that Parliament is curently dissolved prior to the state opening. This is legally nonsense, otherwise the election of the Speaker and the taking of the oath/affirmations wouldn't be happening. See this article and this one about the timetable for the meeting of a new parliament. Specifically:

Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords sit for a few days ahead of the official State Opening of Parliament, the formal start of a parliamentary session. During this time the re-election or election of a new Speaker of the House of Commons takes place, and MPs and Lords take the oath or affirmation.

- Chrism would like to hear from you 22:51, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Acts of Union 1707, accessed 18 January 2011