The slogan ‘take back control’ was central to Brexit. The conception of democracy this slogan embodies is the traditional Westminster model. It is a model in the sense that it is supposed to provide a simplified characterisation of the operative principles of UK politics and government, although practice in fact diverges from those principles. It is also a model in the sense that the Westminster system is seen by those favouring Brexit as an ideal to which practice needs to be restored. The model can be associated with a corresponding conception of democracies in the international order. However, there are both functional and democratic disadvantages with that account of democracy and the international order, disadvantages that the development of the EU highlights. Two alternative models of democracy beyond the nation state are identified, before concluding that the Westminster model has a past but not a future.
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