Magazine
Latest Issue

Brexit has shown up the key flaw in our representative democracy—MPs don’t represent the people

There is a need for profound reform to make sure that those often left out of politics—including the young and non-university educated—are given a voice

By David Runciman  

Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

The Brexit referendum poses a double challenge to parliamentary democracy. First, how to reconcile the brute fact of a majoritarian plebiscitary decision with the complex process of negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU. Rival claims to speak for “the people” during this ongoing process—from the government, parliamentarians and unelected Brexiters—have made this question acute. Second, though, there is the problem of how to bridge the divisions between different sections of the voting public that the referendum revealed and reinforced. The problem our parliamentary democracy struggles…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect