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The Queen is being dragged into Britain’s 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.” LONDON -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.” One Conservative MP who has been closely involved in efforts to block a no-deal Brexit distanced himself and his colleagues from suggestions they were planning to involve the Queen. “I haven’t heard anybody mention this,” said the MP, who was one of 17 Conservatives led by Dominic Grieve who defied the whip in a vote on Thursday which seeks to stop the next prime minister shutting down parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit. “In view of our repeated attacks on prorogation and on bringing the Queen into politics, it wouldn’t make much sense,” they said. “Not once have I heard this idea come up. I would be absolutely staggered if it went any further.” Britain’s Brexit crisis is deepeningFoto: Boris JohnsonsourceReuters 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. It is not clear whether this amendment will ultimately prevent Johnson from forcing a no-deal Brexit, however. Dr Catherine Haddon, a constitutional expert at the Institute for Government, said that the plan successfully passed by Parliament this week was “an entirely untested mechanism” and therefore difficult to say it was “definitely binding.” However, it was seen as a warning shot to Johnson should he try and attempt to defy the will of parliament on Brexit. Conservative grandees Conservative MPs Kenneth Clarke and Dominic Grieve have indicated publicly that they would vote to bring down the government to block a no-deal Brexit, while several more colleagues have committed to do so privately. 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. The post The Queen is being dragged into Britain’s Brexit crisis appeared first on Business Insider Nederland.
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