Of course, the Queen would likely tell him to sod off. Unlike Corbyn and many other Remain politicians, she trusts the judgment of the British people...
MATTHEW GOODWIN The Queen won’t get involved in Brexit — she trusts the judgment of the British people
Professor Matthew Goodwin
8 Aug 2019
“SILLY season”, according to my dictionary, is that brief moment in late summer when the media focus on more trivial matters because there is a lack of major news stories.
But judging from what is going on in Westminster this week, it could just as easily refer to the Remainer MPs in Parliament, who appear to have taken leave of their senses.
The Queen won't get involved in the politics surrounding Brexit — she trusts the judgement of the British people, writes Professor Matthew Goodwin
John McDonnell suggested this week that Jeremy Corbyn would pay a visit to the monarch if Boris Johnson lost a vote of no-confidence Credit: PA:Press Association
With Brexit Day rapidly approaching on October 31 — and a new Prime Minister who is committed to seeing it through — MPs who want to block Brexit are panicking so much that some are even contemplating dragging our 93-year-old Queen into this sorry saga.
Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggested this week that were Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lose a widely anticipated vote of no confidence next month, opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, would pay a visit to the Monarch.
“I don’t want to drag the Queen into this”, said McDonnell, “but I would be sending Jeremy Corbyn in a cab to Buckingham Palace to say we’re taking over.”
Nor is he the only one who is willing to break with convention and embroil Her Majesty in politics as they desperately work overtime to try to block our departure from the EU.
Dominic Grieve, a Remainer Conservative MP who spent much of the past three years trying to block Brexit, has made similar noises, suggesting he too would be willing to drag our Queen into these dishonourable attempts to thwart the majority will.
But the idea of involving the Monarch is completely at odds with Britain’s long-held political traditions.
RULE IS TO AVOID PARTY POLITICS
The reality is that ever since Charles I lost his head in the 17th Century, following the English Civil War, the head of state has remained strictly neutral with respect to political matters.
This is why, for more than 60 years, the Queen has been careful to stay “above politics”, and helps to explain why she is so adored.
The Queen’s public speeches and actions always rely on advice from ministers and, as constitutional experts have long made clear, one of her key unwritten rules is that she avoids party politics.
Indeed, in 2016 The Sun stunned Westminster with an exclusive story revealing how Her Majesty had, in private, spoken critically of the EU.
A highly reliable political source was quoted as saying that people who heard a conversation “were left in no doubt at all about the Queen’s views on European integration”.
Indeed, this is why younger, or new, members of the Royal Family should avoid making overtly political interventions.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to send political messages while guest-editing Vogue magazine, or giving barefoot speeches to global elites at a Google Camp focused on climate change was, at best, ill-advised.
The role of the Royal Family is not to engage in “woke” virtue-signalling but to stand firmly above and apart from politics.
The more “politicised” members of the Royal Family become, the more they undermine the Sovereign’s claim to be our neutral head of state.
This is why, in 2016, her Majesty made it abundantly clear that our country’s referendum on EU member-ship was: “A matter for the British people to decide.”
And the people did make a decision. They voted to leave the EU. The only problem, as we have since discovered, is that many MPs don’t share the Queen’s trust in the judgment of the British people. Rather than respect the decision, they have sought to overturn it.
Given their lack of respect for the British people, it is perhaps not surprising to see their total lack of respect for our Monarch and our long political traditions. It is not the job of hard-Left politicians or Remainer MPs to decide what the Queen should or should not do.
HE WOULD BE BREAKING LAW
The only person from whom the Queen can take constitutionally binding advice is the Prime Minister. Should Boris Johnson lose a vote of no confidence then the Queen will be advised by her outgoing Prime Minister about who can or cannot command the confidence of the House of Commons.
Further, as Prime Minister, it would be up to Mr Johnson to advise the Queen on whether to give Royal Assent to a Bill passed by the Commons and Lords blocking a No-Deal Brexit. It would be well within his rights to advise the Queen not to sign such a bill into law.
Were Johnson to seek to remain after 14 days without calling an election, he would be breaking the law, and it would then be for the courts, not the Queen, to intervene.
It is certainly possible in theory that the sovereign could be called upon to choose between two rival claims to form a government. However, this would be regarded as highly political and has not been done since 1834.
In reality, it is far more likely that the numbers in Parliament will tell us who does or does not have a majority, and that a general election will be called before getting the Queen involved.
We all know what this is really about, though. The vote for Brexit was always destined to bring us to a constitutional crisis.
It was the first moment in our country’s long and proud history when a majority of people outside of Parliament asked for something that a majority of people inside Parliament did not want to give.
The right way through this mess is not to drag the Queen into politics but to deliver on the decision that was made by the British people more than three years ago.
Professor Matthew Goodwin is the author of National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy, out now, Penguin Books, £9.99
Queen Elizabeth II welcomes the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson, in Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019 Credit: Getty - Pool
Charles I (1600 - 1649) on the scaffold in front of Whitehall, London, on which he was executed Credit: Handout - Getty