On Thursday, 23rd June 2016, a referendum was held where the public decided whether the United Kingdom should leave the EU or not. 52% of people voted for it to leave and won against 48% of people who were against the UK leaving the EU. 30 million people voted and the referendum turnout was very high- 72% and 17.4 million people opted for Brexit.
Brexit was originally supposed to happen on 29th March 2019 which was two years after the then PM, Theresa May formally started the process to leave and the negotiations had begun. Due to delay in the deadline, twice after the MPs rejected May’s Brexit deal the deadline was pushed to 31st October. Now the current PM Boris Johnson requested the EU for further extension in the deadline which they agreed as January 31st.
Anthony Grayling, an author, philosopher, and the founder and master of New College of Humanities at Northeastern University, London says Brexit has spurred “a re-appraisal of our political and constitutional arrangements,” the UK doesn’t have a traditional constitution. It has hundreds of years’ worth of Acts of Parliament, political conventions, and court judgments that are agreed upon and upheld by all its leaders.
“The constitution is famously referred to as ‘a set of understandings that no one understands,” says Grayling, who is working on a book which is about constitutional reform.
PM Johnson, in order to make the Brexit deal easier to pass, wants a general election in the hope of winning more Conservative seats. However, in order to hold an election, at least two-thirds of all MPs must agree. This general election will be happening on the 12th of December 2019.
“On the one hand, it’s appropriate and I’m glad it’s happening,” says Mai’a Cross, Edward W. Brooke Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University. “There have been a lot of instances of running roughshod over democracy (during the Brexit process) and this allows the British people to weigh in and have a vote.” On the other hand, she says, “it throws the future of Britain into turmoil, again.”