Politics of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is a unitary state with devolution, governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state while the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May, is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the British government, on behalf of and by the consent of the monarch, as well as by the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies; the judiciary is independent of the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the UK political system is a multi-party system. Since the 1920s, the two dominant parties have been the Labour Party. Before the Labour Party rose in British politics, the Liberal Party was the other major political party, along with the Conservatives.
While coalition and minority governments have been an occasional feature of parliamentary politics, the first-past-the-post electoral system used for general elections tends to maintain the dominance of these two parties, though each has in the past century relied upon a third party, such as the Liberal Democrats, to deliver a working majority in Parliament. A Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government held office from 2010 until 2015, the first coalition since 1945; the coalition ended following parliamentary elections on 7 May 2015, in which the Conservative Party won an outright majority of 330 seats in the House of Commons, while their coalition partners lost all but eight seats. With the partition of Ireland, Northern Ireland received home rule in 1920, though civil unrest meant direct rule was restored in 1972. Support for nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales led to proposals for devolution in the 1970s, though only in the 1990s did devolution happen. Today, Scotland and Northern Ireland each possess a legislature and executive, with devolution in Northern Ireland being conditional on participation in certain all-Ireland institutions.
The UK government remains responsible for non-devolved matters and, in the case of Northern Ireland, co-operates with the government of the Republic of Ireland. It is a matter of dispute as to whether increased autonomy and devolution of executive and legislative powers has contributed to the increase in support for independence; the principal Scottish pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, became a minority government in 2007 and went on to win an overall majority of MSPs at the 2011 Scottish parliament elections and forms the Scottish Government administration. A 2014 referendum on independence led with 44.7 % voting for it. In Northern Ireland, a smaller percentage vote for Irish nationalist parties; the largest, Sinn Féin, not only advocates Irish reunification, but its members abstain from taking their elected seats in the Westminster parliament, as this would entail taking a pledge of allegiance to the British monarch. The constitution of the United Kingdom is uncodified, being made up of constitutional conventions and other elements such as EU law.
This system of government, known as the Westminster system, has been adopted by other countries those that were parts of the British Empire. The United Kingdom is responsible for several dependencies, which fall into two categories: the Crown dependencies, in the immediate vicinity of the UK, British Overseas Territories, which originated as colonies of the British Empire; the Economist Intelligence Unit rated the United Kingdom as a "full democracy" in 2017. The British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, is the chief of state of the United Kingdom. Though she takes little direct part in government, the Crown remains the fount in which ultimate executive power over government lies; these powers are known as royal prerogative and can be used for a vast amount of things, such as the issue or withdrawal of passports, to the dismissal of the Prime Minister or the declaration of war. The powers are delegated from the monarch in the name of the Crown, can be handed to various ministers, or other officers of the Crown, can purposely bypass the consent of Parliament.
The head of Her Majesty's Government, the prime minister has weekly meetings with the sovereign, where she may express her feelings, warn, or advise the prime minister in the government's work. According to the uncodified constitution of the United Kingdom, the monarch has the following powers:Domestic powers The power to dismiss and appoint a prime minister The power to dismiss and appoint other ministers The power to summon and prorogue Parliament The power to grant or refuse Royal Assent to bills The power to commission officers in the Armed Forces The power to command the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom The power to appoint members to the Queen's Counsel The power to issue and withdraw passports The power to grant prerogative of mercy The power to grant honours The power to create corporations via Royal CharterForeign powers The power to ratify and make treaties The power to declare war and peace The power to deploy the Armed Forces overseas The power to recognize states The power to credit and receive diplomats Executive power in the United Kingdom is exercised by the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, via Her Majesty's Government and the devolved national authorities - the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Exec
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Angela Frances Browning, Baroness Browning is a British Conservative Party politician. She was the Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton from 1997 to 2010, having been MP for Tiverton from 1992 to 1997. Born Angela Frances Pearson in Reading, her father was a lab technician at the University of Reading, she was educated at the Westwood Grammar School for Girls on Honey End Lane in Reading, University of West London, the Bournemouth College of Technology. She became a Home Economics tutor in adult education from 1968 until 1974, she was an auxiliary nurse for a year in 1976. She was appointed as a sales and training manager with GEC Hotpoint in 1977. In 1985, she became a self-employed management consultant, became Director of the Small Business Bureau until 1994. From 1988–92, she was the Chairman of Women into Business. Browning contested Crewe and Nantwich at the 1987 general election, but was narrowly defeated by the veteran Labour MP Gwyneth Dunwoody by just 1,092 votes, she was selected for the safe Conservative seat of Tiverton following the retirement of Robin Maxwell-Hyslop, who had represented the seat for 32 years.
She held the seat comfortably at the 1992 general election with a majority of 11,089. She made her maiden speech on 12 June 1992. After her election, Browning became a Member of the Agriculture Select Committee in 1992, she was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Department for Education and Employment Michael Forsyth in 1993. In 1993, she became the President of the National Autistic Society, she entered John Major's government in 1994 when she became a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry for Agriculture and Food, where she remained until the Major government fell. She became a vice president of the National Alzheimer's Disease Society in 1997, her Tiverton seat was abolished, but she won the nomination for the newly drawn Tiverton and Honiton seat which she contested at the 1997 general election. She won the new seat with a reduced majority of 1,653. After John Major resigned from the Leadership of the Conservative Party she ran the John Redwood campaign team.
She was appointed as an opposition spokeswoman on Education and Employment under William Hague, but she stepped down in 1998 to look after her autistic adult son, Robin. However, Hague brought her back in 1999 when she entered the Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary, and, in 2000, was the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. After the 2001 general election, she was an opposition spokesperson on Constitutional Affairs, before becoming the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party 2000–04. In the 2005 general election, Browning increased her majority to 11,051, she was a Member of both the Public Accounts and Standards and Privileges Select Committees. On 17 November 2006, Browning announced her intention not to stand as a candidate at the 2010 general election. On 9 July 2010, she was created a life peer as Baroness Browning, of Whimple in the County of Devon, was introduced in the House of Lords on 13 July 2010, where she sits as a Conservative. On 11 May 2011, it was announced that Lady Browning would replace James Brokenshire as the Minister for Crime Prevention and Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction in the coalition government following the resignation of Lady Neville-Jones as Security Minister.
Lady Browning became the Home Office Minister of State in the House of Lords, making her the lead for all Home Office business in the Upper House. She resigned from government on health grounds on 16 September 2011, was replaced in the Home Office by Lord Henley, she was interviewed in 2015 as part of The History of Parliament's oral history project. She married David Browning on 6 January 1968 in Bournemouth, they have two sons. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Angela Browning Official Website ePolitix – Angela Browning MP Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Angela Browning MP TheyWorkForYou.com – Angela Browning MP Blakes Parliamentary Yearbook Tiverton and Honiton Conservative Association The Public Whip – Angela Browning MP voting record BBC News Profile – Angela Browning