Brexit & the shape of EU – Are UK citizens adequately represented?
Is the UK parliament maintaining its democratic representative status of UK citizens during the ongoing Brexit negotiations?
The idea and implementation of ‘democracy’ can be dated back to Ancient Greece in the year 508 BC, in which citizens of the state of Athens would elect a group of representatives to rule over the state.
By electing representatives in this way, citizens of the state expected the realisation of their interests to be maintained within all decisions made by those elected, so to represent the state as a collective.
Since then, the understanding of democracy has developed to the point that the UK parliament can now also be labelled as a ‘representative democracy’, in which UK citizens vote for and elect representatives, as well as within decision making processes such as leaving the EU, with the understanding that every vote made is given equal weight.
However, with the recent Brexit vote demonstrating a divided nation within the UK – how far are those citizens who voted to remain within the EU adequately represented within the ongoing Brexit negotiations?
For instance, through the understanding that the UK is supposedly a representative democracy, every individual, including those who voted to remain within the EU, should be able to shape the result of the ongoing Brexit negotiations.
Therefore, how far does the UK parliament strive to ensure that the opinions of the citizens of the divided Brexit result are given adequate representation within the ongoing Brexit negotiations with the EU?
At present, it could be argued that the UK parliament deems to be worrying more about the EU’s preferences for Brexit negotiations, so to avoid a ‘Hard Brexit’, rather than the desires of its own citizens – which may also be due to the lack of a cohesive opinion of whether Britain should leave or remain within the EU altogether.
Thus, in a turn of events, although one of the intentions of those wishing to leave the EU was partially based upon the want to regain and retain British sovereignty, could this now have a reverse effect?
This is because if Britain and its UK parliament are determined as a ‘representative democracy’, yet are deemed to be not representing UK citizens as a collective during the ongoing Brexit negotiations, then could the eventual leaving from the EU alternatively decrease British sovereignty, due to the apparent decreasing of Britain’s status as a representative democracy during the Brexit process, instead?
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Author: Portia Vincent-Kirby