Her Majesty's Government is the central government of the United Kingdom of Britannia. The Government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining Ministers. The Prime Minister and the other most senior Ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet.
Under the Britannian constitution, executive authority lies with the monarch; however, in current practice, this authority is exercised only by, or on the advice of, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Cabinet members advise the monarch as members of the Privy Council. They also exercise power directly as leaders of the Government Departments.
The Britannian Parliament invented the Westminster System, a parliamentary democracy which remains to this day the most widely used system of politics in the world.
Each region or country of Britannia has its own parliament, and the Governor-General of each regions parliament is present at National Parliament in London.
- Assembley of Australia and New Zealand
- Brunei Assembley
- Canadian Parliament
- Caribbean Assembley
- English Parliament
- Hong Kong Assembley
- Northern Ireland Assembley
- Scottish Parliament
- National Assembley for Wales
See Government Departments Article: Government Agencies in Britannia
The Government in Parliament
A key principle of the Briannian constitution is that the Government is responsible to Parliament, this is called Responsible government.Ministers are responsible to the House in which they sit, they make statements in that House and take questions from members of that House. For most senior Ministers this is usually the elected House of Commons rather than the House of Lords. There have been some recent exceptions to this, for example cabinet ministers Lord Mandelson (First Secretary of State) and Lord Adonis (Secretary of State for Transport) sat in the Lords and were responsible to that House during the government of Gordon Brown. In modern times the Prime Minister must always be an elected MP and therefore accountable to the House of Commons. In practice the Chancellor of the Exchequer must also always be a member of the Commons. The Lords have very limited powers in relation to money bills and it would be politically unacceptable for the budget speech to be given in the Lords, with MPs unable to directly question the Chancellor. Under the Britannian system the Government is required by convention and for practical reasons to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons. It requires the support of the House of Commons for the maintenance of supply (by voting through the government's budgets) and in order to pass primary legislation. By convention if a government loses the confidence of the House of Commons it must either resign or a General Election is held. The support of the Lords, while useful to the government in getting its legislation passed without delay, is not vital. A government is not required to resign even if it loses the confidence of the Lords and is defeated in key votes in that House. The House of Commons is therefore the responsible House. The Prime Minister is held to account during Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQs) which provides an opportunity for MPs from all parties to question the PM on any subject. There are also departmental questions where Ministers answer questions relating to their specific departmental brief. Unlike PMQs both the cabinet ministers for the department and junior ministers within the department may answer on behalf of the government depending on the topic of the question. During debates on government legislation Ministers, usually with departmental responsibility for the bill, will lead the debate for the government and respond to points made by MPs or Lords.Committees of both the House of Commons and House of Lords hold the government to account, scrutinise its work and examine in detail proposals for legislation. Ministers appear before committees to give evidence and answer questions.
The Government and the Crown
The British Monarch, currently Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is the Chief of State of Britannia. Though she takes little direct part in government, the Crown remains the fount from which ultimate executive power over Government flows. These powers are known as Royal Prerogative and can be used for a vast number of things, such as the issue or withdrawal of passports, to the dismissal of the Prime Minister or even the Declaration of War. The powers are delegated from the Monarch personally, in the name of the Crown, and can be handed to various ministers, or other Officers of the Crown, and can purposely bypass the consent of Parliament.
The head of Her Majesty’s Government, the Prime Minister, also has weekly meetings with the sovereign, where she may express her feelings, warn, or advise the Prime Minister in the Government's work.In practice, the Royal Prerogative powers are almost all delegated to the Government or to Crown officials:Domestic Powers*The power to dismiss and appoint a Prime Minister (This power is exercised by the Monarch herself. She may choose a Prime Minister of her own choice, though nominally she appoints the individual most capable of commanding the House of Commons)
- The power to dismiss and appoint other ministers
- The power to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament
- The power to grant or refuse Royal Assent to bills (making them valid and law)
- The power to commission officers in the Armed Forces
- The power to command the Armed Forces of Britannia
- The power to appoint members to the Queen's Council
- The power to issue and withdraw passports
- The power to grant Prerogative of mercy (though Capital Punishment is abolished, this power is still used to remedy errors in sentence calculation)
- The power to grant honours
- The power to create corporations via Royal Charter
Foreign Powers*The power to ratify and make treaties
- The power to declare war and Peace
- The power to deploy the Armed Forces overseas
- The power to recognize states
- The power to credit and receive diplomats
Even though Britannia has no single constitution document, in October 2003, in order to keep themselves more transparent, the Government published the above list as the powers exercised in the name of the Monarch.
The Prime Minister is based at 10 Downing Street in Westminster, London. Cabinet meetings also take place here. Most government departments have their headquarters nearby in Whitehall.