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An odd thing has happened to the British system of government. Westminster has long been regarded as the seat of democracy in its best form. The Westminster model has been proudly offered round the world, and widely emulated, as the surest system for ensuring long-term stability and democratic progress.

But today, at Westminster itself, and in the British House of Commons, the Westminster model is looking very sick. The Commons has come to a grinding halt over the issue of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, unable to agree on any way forward and generally locked in paralysis.

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