Restoring Confidence: Replacing the Fixed‐Term Parliaments Act 201

29 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018

See all articles by Robert Craig

Robert Craig

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: May 2018


This article considers both the Fixed‐term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA) and the political constitution, to place the former in its political and constitutional context. It begins by setting out the background to the FTPA – which was a part of a Coalition agreement – and considers difficulties with the most commonly‐made arguments in favour of fixed‐term parliaments. The second part of the article considers the impact and potential practical legal consequences if the FTPA is repealed without any replacement, arguing that it will only be possible to revive the ‘dissolution’ prerogative by express words in a new Act. The final part of the article addresses the question of whether the prerogative should be revived, before arguing both that it should not and that a statutory power to call an election should be conferred on the Prime Minister subject to a vote by simple majority in the House of Commons.

Keywords: Fixed‐term Parliaments Act, Prerogative, Statute, Abeyance principle, Frustration principle, Interpretation Act 1978, Dissolution of Parliament

Suggested Citation

Craig, Robert, Restoring Confidence: Replacing the Fixed‐Term Parliaments Act 201 (May 2018). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 81, Issue 3, pp. 480-508, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Robert Craig (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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