The Brexit news of Queen Elizabeth’s royal assent to the legislation means that Brexit negotiations will soon begin. CNN explains that in England, legislation must be approved by the monarch after passing the House of Commons and House of Lords. The Queen’s approval is properly referred to as royal assent.
HM The Queen gives BREXIT Royal Assent. Thank you Your Majesty, your loyal citizens will now regain control for our grandchildren's destiny!
— Patriot = Jim Rea (@jamesanglosaxon) March 16, 2017
Once Queen Elizabeth signs a proposed bill, the news is announced in both houses, and the bill becomes an Act of Parliament. The prime minister plans to “invoke Article 50 before the end of March,” setting in motion the next stage of preparations for Brexit.
In today’s world, the Queen doesn’t wield actual power, but royal assent is still considered by many to be an important piece in the checks and balances of lawmaking in Great Britain.
Queen giving the go-ahead to Brexit Bill is like asking your nan to write you a sick note when both parents have said no.
— Bacon Industry (@danlayton) March 16, 2017
The English parliament continues to abide by the process of waiting for the news of Queen Elizabeth’s permission despite the reality that no monarch has refused to sign a bill since 1708.
According to the United Kingdom parliamentary website, Queen Anne caused intense furor over her refusal to give assent to something known as the “Scottish Militia Bill.”
The bill, which was intended to establish an armed militia in Scotland, was tabled only a few months after the Act of Union between Scotland and England was ratified, and the Queen was worried that her Scottish subjects might not remain loyal to the crown if they were supplied with weapons.
Scotland didn't vote for the Tory Govt or a hard Tory Brexit. A genuine 'partnership of equals' would not disregard the will of the people.
— Miriam Brett (@MiriamBrett) March 16, 2017
The Queen was particularly concerned when she heard that the French, on whom she had declared war almost immediately after succeeding to the throne, were sailing for Scotland.
The Queen’s assent today is a given, and far from being at war with France, Britain is doing everything it can to smooth diplomatic relations as Brexit creeps closer. In an attempt to charm European leaders, the British Foreign Office asked the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pay a visit to Paris this weekend.
British news outlet WWD reports that “Britain’s secret weapon,” the popular Kate Middleton and Prince William, are set to begin a “series of royal engagements on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.” Kate and Prince William fly to Paris for two days this weekend, and in July they plan to visit Germany and Poland.
The “charm offensive” by Middleton and Prince William is something of a last-ditch hope on the part of British diplomats struggling to maintain good relations with EU nations as pro-Brexit English politicians bluster and threaten.
It's starting to dawn on people that those in charge of #Brexit are clueless. We're like passengers on a careering bus driven by chimps. :0
— (((Warwick Hunt))) (@WarwickHunt4) March 16, 2017
France has been one of the “toughest” in the period of unofficial Brexit talks, and British officials see the “glamorous, nonthreatening” Kate and Prince William as a great way to improve relations.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have their work cut out for them. “Top European officials” are becoming increasingly frustrated by the “threatening” tone from British officials that Great Britain might walk away from upcoming Brexit negotiations if they don’t get the deal they want. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has issued his own warning that Europe will not be “intimidated.”
We will not be intimidated by threats that no #Brexit deal is good for UK & bad for EU. No deal bad for everyone, above all for UK.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 15, 2017
The news of the heightening tension makes Kate and Prince William’s task in Paris even more delicate. Peter York is a management consultant, broadcaster, and writer who is interested in how the royal family has an impact on world politics. He believes that Prince William and Kate Middleton are the best people for the difficult job.
“Those two young people are absolutely brought up to do this. They will do it well. It’s just everything else is so uncertain. They’re very well-trained and very self-disciplined and I just hope they get it right.”
A Foreign Office spokesperson said that the visit plays “a very important role in the United Kingdom’s bilateral diplomacy,” and Prince William is expected to follow his grandmother’s pattern of careful words and unfailingly courteous attitude. Kate Middleton’s charm, charisma, and much-admired fashion sense will play their part, while her intelligence and social sense make her a diplomat in her own right.
“The Royal Family are excellent and experienced ambassadors for the United Kingdom.”
While the royals do their part on the diplomacy front, behind the scenes, officials are scrambling to move the date forward for the triggering of the Brexit legislation. According to the Guardian, Britain and the EU have two years from the time the Brexit bill is ratified to complete negotiations.
The Brexit news that the Prime Minister intends to wait until the end of March to trigger Article 50 means that EU leaders will “not have adequate time to draft their first formal response” before the upcoming April 6 European Council summit. The delay would put off the opening of formal Brexit talks until at least June, eating into the two-year window.
[Featured Image by Geoff Pugh/WPA Pool/Getty Images]