Political System in the UK

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 24, 2022, 8:37

Britain is constitutional sovereignty. This means that it is governed either by a King or a Queen who accepts advice from the parliament. Some people feel that the Political System in the UK is confusing as they constitute centralized executive power; plus in the constituent nations of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, there are devolved governments.

About Components of Political System in the UK

Below mentioned is the Constitutional System in the UK -

The Government

The Prime Minister of the UK leads the government along with the support of the cabinet and other ministers. Boris Johnson is the current Prime Minister of the UK. He is Her Majesty's government head and is accountable for all the guidelines and judgments.

The other roles and responsibilities of the Prime Minister are:

  • He has the authority to select Cabinet ministers, Home, Foreign & Defense secretaries, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • He leads the government constitution in the House of Commons.
  • He advises about the number of appointments to the monarch.
  • He looks after the civil services and government agencies' operations.
  • He is responsible for taking the decisions related to implementing new policies, making amendments to the existing ones, and managing the other government departments.

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The Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth currently and she also possesses judicial and legislative power.

Since the English Bill of Rights in 1689, monarchy is no longer with the monarchs. Despite this, the Queen is the head of the state along with the president in Europe.

They still have three significant rights with them, which are:

  • The privilege to be consulted
  • The privilege to warn
  • The privilege to advise

The Prime Minister is supposed to have a confidential meeting every week with the monarch.

The Parliament

The Parliament of the UK is segregated into two sections: the House of Lords (relatively less important) and the House of Commons (comprises 651 members of parliament.

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Political System in the UK - Overview

The House of Lords comprises different groups: archbishops, bishops, Lord Spiritual, Lords Temporal, etc. All these groups inherit their titles from their ancestors, such as grandfathers or fathers. It also comprises another group - the Lords of Appeal. They are the High Court Judges.

The number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; it changes every year. As of now, there are around 800 members from different parties, but the number varies yearly.

The House of Commons is composed of elected representatives who are chosen by the British people. They are selected for a maximum span of 5 years, at the end of which a general election is held.

The Constitutional System in the UK is such that it is constitutional sovereignty, just like Japan, Spain, UAE and Netherlands. Plus, it is also a parliamentary democracy where the Government is selected by the British people, and its head is the Prime Minister, who holds the executive power.

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FAQs on Political System in the UK

Q1. As per the Political System in the UK, who can vote?

As per the Political System in the UK, anyone above 18, documented to vote, UK resident, and a British, Irish, or entitled Commonwealth citizen can vote.

Q2. As per the Political System in the UK, what is the role of parliament?

As per the Political System in the UK, the role given to the parliament is to set taxes, monitor government operations, and pass new laws.

Q3. As per the Political System in the UK, how many seats are there in the House of Commons for other political parties?

There are 11 seats for other political parties in the House of Commons as per the constitutional system in the UK.

Q4. As per the Political System in the UK, how does the voting system work?

In this context, the Political System in the UK is similar to most countries in that it also operates on a majority vote system.