Tuesday, June 25

Queen dragged into Brexit crisis


 

  • Senior Conservative MPs are reportedly plotting to ask the Queen to travel to Brussels and request a Brexit extension.
  • Under the plan, the Queen would be enlisted to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
  • It is the latest attempt by British politicians to involve the monarch in Britain’s Brexit crisis.
  • However, constitutional experts say it would be extraordinary to involve the Queen in this way.
  • Constitutional expert Dr Ruth Fox told Business Insider “The idea that [the Queen] should be brought into the heart of the political maelstrom around Brexit because the MPs themselves cannot resolve this situation politically within the House would be ridiculous.”

It was reported this week that senior Conservatives who oppose a no-deal Brexit are so concerned the next prime minister could try to shut down parliament that they are discussing a scheme to ask the Queen to intervene.

The group of rebel Conservatives are discussing whether to hold a vote on a mechanism called a humble address, it was claimed.

If passed, it would potentially force the prime minister to ask the Queen to exercise her right as monarch to travel to the next EU summit and request an Article 50 extension.

It is the latest attempt by British politicians to involve the monarch in Britain’s growing Brexit crisis.

Earlier this year, Conservative Brexiteer leader Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested that the Queen could be forced to suspend parliament in order to allow Britain to leave the EU.

I hope it will not be necessary for Her Majesty’s stay at Sandringham to be interrupted by her in person having to prorogue Parliament, Mogg told supporters in January.

He added: If the House of Commons undermines our basic constitutional conventions then the executive is entitled to use other… constitutional means to stop it – by which I basically mean prorogation.

So could the Queen be brought in to solve Brexit?

Dr Ruth Fox, director and head of research at the Hansard Society, which produces independent research on parliamentary affairs, described the plan to enlist the Queen as “ridiculous”.

“This is constitutional nonsense,” Dr Fox told Business Insider.

“The duty of the government and MPs is to insulate the Queen from politics.

“The idea that she should be brought into the heart of the political maelstrom around Brexit because the MPs themselves cannot resolve this situation politically within the House would be ridiculous.”

The government currently has a working majority of just 5, meaning relatively few Conservative votes would be required to bring down the next prime minister and prompt a general election.

Britain’s Brexit crisis is deepening

The fact that the Queen is being dragged into the Brexit crisis is a sign of quite how fractious British politics has become.

However, such divisions are only likely to grow next week when Boris Johnson is likely to be announced as the UK’s next prime minister after the results of the Conservative leadership contest are revealed on Tuesday.

The election of the former foreign secretary could deepen Britain’s political crisis, given his commitment to take Britain out of the EU at the end of October “do or die.’

Johnson has refused to rule out shutting down parliament in the autumn to deliver on his pledge to take Britain out of the EU by October 31.

However, leaving the EU without a deal is opposed by a majority of MPs, due to the disruption it is predicted to cause the British economy,

Johnson’s plan to leave in October, come what may, suffered a major defeat after parliament approved by 315 votes to 274 an amendment designed to prevent Johnson proroguing parliament in October.