Global Affairs: Brexit and the power of bamboo

British politics is under tremendous strain but the parliamentary pushback against PM Johnson's push for a no-deal Brexit also shows the unique strengths of its system

LONDON • A government that cannot pass new legislation because it no longer has a parliamentary majority, but is also prevented from holding new general elections. A prime minister who, instead of facing his critics, uses some arcane and long-forgotten royal powers to suspend parliamentary debates altogether. And a country that has spent more than three years debating whether it should remain a member of the European Union, and is still nowhere near reaching a coherent answer about its future.

The events of the past few years have put paid to the world's traditional image of the United Kingdom as a nation of polite, civilised and commercially minded people, governed by fair-minded, honest and capable leaders who, in turn, rely on centuries-old strong and predictable institutions.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2019, with the headline 'Brexit and the power of bamboo'. Print Edition | Subscribe