Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Joachim Fritz-Vannahme

spotlight europe 01/2015: Turbulent Times in the Disunited Kingdom

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition


Free of charge


On 15th June the country will be celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which is the basis of English law and indeed of modern democracy. But not everyone is going to be in a festive mood. The fact of the matter is that after the forthcoming general election the United Kingdom is going to slide ineluctably into a constitutional crisis. Old habits and customs are fading away into oblivion, and the new ones have not as yet demonstrated that they can hold their own and survive. Since 1885 the Government and the Opposition have sat facing each other in the House of Commons two swords’ length apart. Yet what came into being in the Palace of Westminster at the time of Queen Victoria as a clear-cut two-party system is disintegrating in the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and becoming a fragmented seven-party system with unsuspected and sometimes seemingly impossible alliances.