Constitution Unit Profile picture
UK's leading research centre on constitutional change based @uclspp. Parliament, government, referendums, elections. Sign up for our events, publications & blog 🇺🇦 🇪🇺 🇮🇱 🇵🇸 #FBPE Profile picture Charlie Helps FRSA ⚛️❣️💙🖤🤍 Profile picture jaka #StopTheCoup #BannonArrested#TheGreatHack Profile picture Chris Salter Profile picture Ian McLaren Profile picture 5 subscribed
Feb 22, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
Amidst much current talk of the NI Protocol and the ERG, Meg Russell and @james_lisak's forthcoming book sheds new light on this saga.

The ERG voted for the Protocol, as part of Johnson's deal, but very reluctantly. They feared that Brexit would otherwise be lost.

1/ Image David Frost's subsequent comments are quite well known.

Less so are claims in ERG member Mark Francois' book that the group promised, in private talks with No. 10, to support the deal only on the strict understanding that the NI Protocol would be changed.

2/ Image
Oct 20, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
So, another leadership contest for another new Prime Minister.

🧵Some key constitutional reminders:

1. The last contest was triggered by serious concerns about constitutional standards under the Johnson government.

Five questions for the candidates.… 2. The financial and political crisis generated by Truss had constitutional roots built on Johnson's record.

She demonstrated the risks of ignoring appropriate checks and balances: sidelining expert officials and regulators, and shutting out her own MPs.…
Oct 5, 2022 9 tweets 3 min read
The Truss premiership has seen economic & political turmoil & a historic Labour lead.

Director Meg Russell argues the current crisis has been built on a foundation of poor constitutional governance and practice, established under her predecessor.…

3 legacy characteristics of Johnson’s constitutional regime have been notable in the current crisis:

🚨a strained relationship with the civil service
🚨tension over the role of constitutional regulators 🚨sidelining of parliamentary scrutiny.

May 16, 2022 13 tweets 8 min read
The Northern Ireland #Protocol is top of the news. So how did we get here? The Unit's Meg Russell and @james_lisak explore.

@theresa_may as PM negotiated a Brexit deal that sought to avoid most of these problems. But it was blocked. Who by?

1/12… As May recalled in the Commons last week, the DUP were part of that blocking majority.

But there were "others". She refrains from saying who, but voters against included Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Jacob Rees-Mogg & Suella Braverman.


Mar 16, 2022 9 tweets 3 min read
NEW MONITOR: The 80th edition of Monitor was published today. It provides analysis of the last 4 months of constitutional news and contains sections on parliament, elections, devolution, the courts, & the monarchy. It is free and available now:… 2/8 The PARLIAMENT section includes analysis of the fractious relationship between the government and parliament (including its own backbenchers & a record number of Lords defeats), and concerns about the proper scrutiny of delegated legislation.
Feb 10, 2022 17 tweets 6 min read
Starting shortly! The Unit is holding a fascinating seminar on: What Kind of Democracy Do People Want?

Our panel
Chair: Professor Meg Russell Professor Meg Russell begins the seminar introducing our new report:…

This report, on attitudes towards democracy in the UK, is extremely timely, and have been quoted by the press and politicians. This morning, former PM John Major quoted our findings.
Feb 10, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
NEW BLOG: What Kind of Democracy Do People Want? Putting our findings in context

Following last month's publication of the first report of the Democracy in the UK after Brexit project, @cleaver_james asks how its findings compare with previous research.… The report's findings about people's satisfaction with democracy and their trust in certain institutions chime with existing scholarship.

This is partly due to the well-established nature of this field, and partly due to the similar questions asked of survey respondents.
Jan 25, 2022 17 tweets 6 min read
🚨| NEW REPORT: What Kind of Democracy Do People Want?

Today the Unit releases the results of a UK-wide population survey asking respondents how they thought democracy should work in the UK. (1/17)… Fielded in July 2021 by @YouGov, with a sample size of almost 6,500 respondents who were representative of the UK voting-age population, this report provides a unique and detailed insight into public attitudes towards democracy and the constitution. (2/17)
Jan 17, 2022 17 tweets 4 min read
🚨| NEW: Citizens' Assembly reveals public's concern with integrity in politics

Key findings from the Citizens' Assembly on Democracy in the UK are published today 👇… The Citizens’ Assembly on Democracy in the UK was run by the Constitution Unit and @involveUK. It brought 67 representative members of the UK public together over six weekends in late 2021. Its members sought to answer the question: ‘How should the UK’s democracy work?’
Nov 24, 2021 7 tweets 5 min read
Members of the Citizens' Assembly on Democracy in the UK met on 13 and 14 November to discuss the roles of the public in democracy in the UK, and how people can participate.

Check out the presentations from expert speakers below 📺👇 Project lead @alanjrenwick introduced Weekend 4 and provided an overview of how the public is involved in the UK democratic system.

Sep 27, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read
We recently held Weekend 1 of the 'Citizens' Assembly on Democracy in the UK'.

Led by @alanjrenwick, and delivered w/ @invovleUK, the Assembly is made up of 74 people from all walks of life in the UK.

Assembly members heard from expert speakers—watch their presentations now👇 @alanjrenwick kicked off the weekend with an introduction into the Assembly and how it will operate over the coming weekends, and provided an insight into broader public attitudes to democracy today.

Sep 23, 2021 15 tweets 5 min read
📣Starting NOW📣

Leading experts @justin_t_fisher, @AEA_DeputyCE, Baroness (Nicky) Morgan of Cotes, & Louise Edwards @ElectoralCommUK discuss the government's proposed Elections Bill in this webinar, chaired by @alanjrenwick

Not too late to sign up! Louise Edwards @ElectoralCommUK kicks of the session discussing the governance of the Commission as outlined in the bill.

At present, the Part 3 of the bill provides for a ‘strategy and policy statement’ which, drafted by a minister, would outline the remit of the Commission
Sep 17, 2021 12 tweets 5 min read

This weekend, 75 members of the public from across the UK gather online to begin examining the question ‘How should the UK’s democracy work?’

In this blogpost, project lead @alanjrenwick sets out what the Assembly will do, & why it deserves attention 2/

Running for six weekends, the Citizens’ Assembly on Democracy in the UK is part of the Constitution Unit’s wider research project, Democracy in the UK after Brexit, funded by @ESRC and delivered in partnership with public participation charity @involveUK
Sep 8, 2021 9 tweets 4 min read


The Dissolution & Calling of Parliament Bill returns to the Commons next week

In our blog, Unit Director Meg Russell, @Prof_Phillipson & @PetraSchleiter analyse its key flaws & propose a solution that keeps parliament at the heart of decision-making

@UKandEU 2/

The bill seeks to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act & revive the prerogative power of dissolution – allowing the PM to ask the monarch for dissolution without parliamentary approval.

But @PACac, @HLConstitution & @JointCtteeFTPA have all identified problems with the bill
Aug 13, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
NEW Working Paper

Today we publish a working paper on the findings of a large-scale public consultation on the prospect of referendums on Northern Ireland’s constitutional status, authored by @alanjrenwick, @NadiaDobryanska, @ConorKellyLDN and @chhkincaid. Image The six-week consultation was initiated by the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland in the summer of 2020 and received
1,377 responses.
Jul 29, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read

The Gun, the Ship & the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World.

Dr Harshan Kumarasingham and Prof Robert Hazell will be in discussion with Prof Linda Colley FBA about her latest book.

Not too late to register! Linda Colley kicks off the webinar by explaining how her book differs from other studies of constitutional history: it is a global study rather than a study on a single constitution, & it explains the emergence of written constitutions as a product of war, rather than revolution.
Jun 10, 2021 13 tweets 4 min read

In this blog post, book authors Stephan Haggard & Robert R. Kaufman summarise their comparative research on democratic ‘backsliding’, describing how, & why, countries slip away from democracy, and asking, could democratic backsliding occur in the UK? 2/

The authors’ work identifies at least 16 countries - some of which were not so long ago viewed as stable and robust democracies – most notably the United States - which have recently experienced democratic backsliding, to varying degrees.
Apr 21, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read
Parliament’s power must be restored after ‘shocking’ marginalisation by government, warns Unit Director & @UKandEU Fellow Meg Russell in a joint briefing with @RuthFox01 @HansardSociety, @JoePTomlinson @publiclawprojct & Ronan Cormacain @BinghamCentre 2/

A year ago today, the House of Commons returned to business transformed by COVID-19. This briefing (summarised in a letter to @thetimes) highlights five ways in which the government’s approach to the House of Commons has eroded parliamentary control

Jan 19, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
✨NEW REPORT: Taking Back Control✨

A new report by Unit Director Meg Russell and @danielgover argues that the House of Commons should govern its own time – and makes proposals for wresting back that control from the government. @UKandEU

Thread 🧵👇 1/8… There have been numerous recent controversies over control of the Commons’ time

Think of Brexit headlines about MPs ‘seizing the agenda’, or clashes over procedure during the pandemic. At the heart of both lie questions about who decides what the Commons discusses & when⏱️

Jan 17, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read

@DanielGover & @james_lisak review the development of the hybrid Commons during 2020 - arguing that remote voting must now be restored, & that these events reveal the problems of government control over the Commons agenda

Summary 🧵👇 1/8… Last spring, the Commons adapted quickly to the challenges of the pandemic. Hybrid arrangements for select committees & Commons debates, & online remote voting, were all in place by mid-May - a major achievement by Commons staff.

Dec 22, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Statement from Unit Director Professor Meg Russell on the 16 new appointments to the House of Lords announced today.

"It is hard not to see the Prime Minister’s latest round of peerage appointments as anything less than outrageous"

1 of 3 It's 3 days before (what's left of) Christmas, so there will be no full analysis now.

But to see the effects of today's peerage announcements just add 16 (7 Con, 5 Lab, 4 Crossbench) to the details below. The rest of the analysis still stands.

2 of 3…