Brexit for dummiesWatch
They like to pretend that the Queen is, but she's just a powerless figurehead.
* The country is split up into little areas called constituencies - there are 650.
* Every 5 years, each constituency takes part in a general election and votes for somebody called an MP (Member of Parliament)
* All 650 MPs have the ability to propose new laws or change the ones we already have.
It would be chaos having 650 independent MPs debating and voting for new laws. So what they did was they formed groups (known as political parties) who share similar viewpoints (such as wanting to ban fox hunting) and use donations to help support their MPs during a general election. Independent MP often struggle to get elected, as they have to fund their own election campaigns with their own money.
Anyone can become an Independent MP.
Here's how parliament looks at the moment and the number of MPs there are:
298 - Conservative
244 - Labour
35 - Scottish National Party
25 - Independent (belongs to no party)
19 - Liberal Democrat
10 - Democratic Unionist Party
7 - Sinn Féin
5 - The Independent Group for Change
4 - Plaid Cymru
1 - Green Party
1 - Speaker
1 - Vacant
Total number of seats 650
* Every party has a leader, who commands his MPs to vote this way or that way (sometimes they rebel)
* If a party has 326 MPs, they have what's called a majority (they command 50% of all the MPs)
* The more MPs a party has, the more powerful its leader.
* If a party doesn't achieve the 326 majority, it's what's known as a Hung Parliament.
* If there's a Hung Parliament, the winning party could try to form a coalition with another party, to push them over 326 MPs
Find out what party best suits your beliefs here:
The European Union is a coalition of 28 countries (including us). It has its positives and negatives, which I won't go into. A lot of people want to leave this coalition and after a national vote on it in 2016, the result was 51.89% to leave the EU, 48.11% to stay.
The Conservatives and The Brexit Party (with no MPs) want to leave, the others more or less want to stay.
As no party commands a majority in parliament, it's causing CHAOS!
A general election set for 12th December 2019 is hoping to fix all that.