The reputation of Britain as a model democratic nation has taken a beating following the decision by PM Boris Johnson to shutdown parliament just weeks ahead of Brexit deadline. This action is being viewed by some as evidence that even a democratic republic can be subjected to power hungry individuals. Though the parliament building of UK had to be vacated for long pending repairs due to water leakage and infestation of rats its reputation as a democracy is under a cloud.
The attempt of Johnson to make Brexit a reality without causing undue damage to the economy may save his reputation but there is a general consensus that he closed Parliament to remove debate. The move has been condemned in several former colonies of Britain where the Queen is still considered head of state. UK citizens have a high view of their country due to its role in international affairs, permanent seat in UN Security Council and nuclear strength followed by influence over troubled regions of Middle East.
But the prolonged crisis over Brexit that has extended over three years now has shaken the nation’s reputation and political institutions. The ability of its political parties to misuse power and indulge in political games has tarnished UK’s status. There is also an ongoing police investigation of a few party members that their measures to keep out foreigners from UK under regulations of European Union had helped to pass the Brexit vote in 2016 that was in favor of UK moving out of leaving EU Bloc.
Academics warn that loss of funding from EU and stiff rules that made it convenient for European to study and research in Britain will reduce the quality of the UK’s arts culture. In New Zealand where the Queen is still considered a figurative head of state there are debates about changing its status to a constitutional monarchy in light of permission given by Queen to shut down parliament.