Queen Elizabeth II has sent a coded message to Britain’s warring politicians, where she urged them to set aside their differences and forge a way forward through the Brexit crisis.
In her speech to a women’s group near Sandringham on Thursday, the British monarch said lawmakers should respect different points of view and seek “common ground,” in what was described as a most unusual intervention into the national political debate.
“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 CNN quoted the Queen as saying.
As a constitutional monarch, the Queen has no political role and is expected to refrain from expressing any personal view that may be construed as party political. She’s rarely faltered in that responsibility over the course of nearly seven decades on the throne, earning near-universal respect.
Her subjects know almost nothing about her thoughts, apart from her passion for horses and dogs. That’s why it’s so extraordinary to see her wade into the biggest political debate for a generation in the United Kingdom.
CNN couldn’t find anyone at Buckingham Palace who would deny that the Queen was referring to Brexit and this isn’t the first time she’s got involved.
Her comments echoed sentiments in her most recent Christmas message, in which the Queen also urged people to respect those with opposing views.
“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding,” the Queen said then.
Lawmakers in the House of Commons are due to vote next week on Prime Minister Theresa May’s “Plan B” for leaving the European Union after her proposed divorce deal, painfully negotiated with EU leaders, was rejected by a huge majority last week in Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Brexit debate has become increasingly heated as the date on which the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU ― March 29 ―gets ever closer.