- More by Omar Bishara
The Queen of England has made the rare move of issuing a stern instruction to the UK Parliament in the face of a Brexit disaster
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The British Royal family is technically only meant to be a figure head with no direct involvement in the political system other than to officially swear in each new parliament.
However there are times when unnamed royals have allegedly been said to have directly instructed Prime Ministers, as was the alleged case with former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Queen Elizabeth has made the rare and bold move and sent a delicately coded message to Britain’s factious political class over Brexit, urging MPs to seek common ground and grasp the big picture to resolve the crisis.
With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Britain to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is in the deepest political crisis in over half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit Europe, which it joined in 1973.
While Elizabeth, 92, did not mention Brexit explicitly in an annual speech to her local Women’s Institute in Norfolk, the monarch said every generation faced “fresh challenges and opportunities.”
“As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture.” the queen said.
Though steeped in the conventional language the queen has made her hallmark, the remarks in the context of Britain’s crisis are a signal to politicians to sort out the turmoil that has pushed the world’s fifth largest economy to the brink of collapse.
“She’s been a gold standard monarch for very nearly 67 years now and this is a particularly gilt-edged moment, I think it’s very important what she said and how she said it,” historian Peter Hennessy said.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment though the British media was clear about the significance of her remarks. The Times’ headline read: “End Brexit feud, Queen tells warring politicians“.
As head of state, the queen remains neutral on politics in public and is unable to vote, though ahead of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence she made a delicately crafted plea for Scots to think carefully about their future.
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O.Bishara@alsahawat.com | Journalist