The Ways of Governmental Policy Formulating in Britain
In Britain, laws are adopted in Parliament at Westminster as it is the highest body of legislative power in the country. In recent years the tendency has been established for the European Union’s impact on law adaption in Britain. However, this tendency is still not powerful enough to take it into consideration to the greater extent. The primary levels affecting government policy in Britain are the Prime Minister, the cabinet of ministers, the interest groups, and senior civil service.
British government policy, just as its political power distribution, can be characterized as a mixed concept. This appears to be so judging on the process of its formation and the levels this process involves. Generally, the policy is formulated in governmental bills, and thus, the cabinet of ministers is mainly participating in the process of policy formation. However, the other parties of this issue are also involved, including the Prime minister, interest groups, and senior civil service, but this happens more randomly.
Such tendency can be explained by the “technology” of law adopted in the United Kingdom. As the work with government bills in the parliament is organized in a way mainly taking all of the parliament’s time, it appears that technically no time is left for the other initiatives, including those ones private members bills. The other reason for the domination of the cabinet of ministers in the process of government policy formation is in the peculiarities of parliament organization. It is traditional for the British parliament to be formed mainly by the governing party during a particular period of time. Thus, all the laws introduced by the minister representing this governing party are quickly adopted by the majority of a dominating party.
In addition, what occurs relatively often in the process of government policy formation can be characterized as the “fusion” in the process of law adaption as it is traditional for the British political system. British society has always been open for active discussions within its various parts, which played a vital role in law adaption. Civil servants often assist ministers on the first stage of law formation in terms of primary data collection required for the law formation when the law is being prepared. These civil servants (mainly governmental counselors on law matters) are actually responsible for the draft of every new bill. When this draft is prepared, the interest groups embark on the policy formation process.
Their main objective is to evaluate the new bill’s draft in terms of its correspondence to the interests of citizens. Eventually, when this task is done, the cabinet of ministers engages in the process with its purpose to finally adopt this new government bill. As to the role of the Prime Ministers, it is often limited to imposing a veto on a new bill in case they see something threatening to the state’s welfare in it.
Evaluating all the above-mentioned information, it becomes evident that the process of government policy formation in Britain can be described as mainly exercised by the cabinet of ministers. However, this process can also be accomplished by numerous parties, including the interest groups and senior civil service, and sometimes, the Prime minister themselves.