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The political state of the UK through the eyes of a foreigner

Did the UK actually take back control after Brexit?

By Sjoerd Visser


Photo courtesy via Flickr


The way the current British conservative government, led by Rishi Sunak, is dodging democracy, adds up to the constitutional crisis the UK has embarked on from 2016.


When the majority of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, political turmoil burgeoned across the country. With the exception of social and political unity during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom's internal struggles seem to have piled up since then. Now, with the appointment of Prime Minister Sunak last month, foreign spectators can witness how selfishness is being upheld by a Tory government, once again.

Arguments against calling general elections for the sake of national stability, during a mandate, can be a reasonable step for a government in uncertain times… If only those decisions did not come from the same vanity that created the instability in the first place.

The island mentality of the UK, detached from current international realities and to some extent based on colonialist frameworks, is still often consulted by the Conservative party. Brexit and its referendum were initiated by voices advocating for more national sovereignty, taking back control of the economy, and not to mention more Britain in the world instead of just in Europe. David Cameron acknowledged the insularity in his Bloomberg speech in 2013: 'We can no more change this British sensibility than we can drain the Channel.'


Here we are, six years and four prime ministers later after Mr. Cameron's resignation and his words about British sensibility may well prove to be right. The current prime minister’s decision not to call a general election, after all the political and financial tumult of recent months, can be seen as another addition to the puzzlement that those engaged in British politics are constantly faced with. Sunak's valuation of a party mandate over a people’s mandate, when it comes to forming a new government, is officially motivated by maintaining national and financial stability.

For the sake of the UK’s national stability, it might be time to bring back the lettuce again.

It is true that arguments against calling general elections for the sake of national stability, during a mandate, can be a reasonable step for a government in uncertain times… If only those decisions did not come from the same vanity that created the instability in the first place. Unfunded and unelected economic policies by the Conservative party, "through the freedoms of Brexit" in Truss’s own words, created the black hole the country has been sucked into in the first place recently.


And now, by not calling a general election, the conceit in which the Tory government once again finds itself worsens beliefs that the country will move in the right direction this time. Ironically, the British political state of affairs today could even act as a deterrent for Euroscepticism in other European countries, because with a fifth prime minister in six years, two of them unelected, and a historically low value of the national currency, it is perhaps time to reconsider arguments for "economic sovereignty" and "taking back control.” For the sake of the UK’s national stability, it might be time to bring back the lettuce again.

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