Friday, 19 July 2019
Sending Queen Elizabeth II to Brussels to avert a no-deal Brexit? That scenario has all the makings of an April Fool’s gag but, according to the BBC, it was raised by British Conservatives fearful that the next Prime Minister might circumvent Parliament and whisk the UK out of the EU at all cost.
The scenario was mentioned on Thursday night on the BBC’s “Newsnight” programme. Some rebel Tories are so afraid that Boris Johnson, tipped to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, might disregard Parliament’s opposition to a hard Brexit that they have gone so far as to imagine such a solution: that Parliament would “humbly” ask Elizabeth II to represent the UK at the EU summit in Brussels.
Tradition requires the Queen to remain above the political arena, but in this extreme scenario, the 93-year-old sovereign would go in person to Brussels to lodge a new request for a postponement of the British exit. The current deadline for the pull-out is 31 October.
There is little doubt that the floating of this scenario is more a way of stepping up the pressure on the incoming Prime Minister than a real will to have the Queen head to Brussels on the Eurostar, the BBC commented.
It also reflects the feverish political climate in London and the determination of some political leaders to avoid a no-deal.
On a more rational level, British legislators on Thursday approved an amendment preventing the next Prime Minister from suspending Parliament to implement a hard Brexit without the legislators having an opportunity to have their say.
This was a clear message for Boris Johnson who has been stressing since his campaign began that the UK would leave the EU, deal or no deal.
The Brussels Times