A lot of people ask the question of what does the Queen do?… and how is it she stood aside and let sovereignty of the United Kingdom slip from her grasp towards the European Union?
To understand it better, you have to break down her functions a little bit. There are many of them, but she elects not to use them. The executive powers of distant monarchs have been stripped from them and now that power is handled by the government. I’ve listed the main ones below that are relevant to her.
- The Queen opens Parliament with great pomp and ceremony and reads out the words prepared by her government, that her government will attempt to pass through the Houses of Parliament.
- Appoint a Prime Minister and government (usually from the largest party elected).
- Sack a Prime Minister, dissolve parliament (for a General Election).
- Grant Royal Assent for new laws.
- The rest of the time is spent on Royal engagements, cutting ribbons, State visits, bestowing Knighthoods and other titles, giving out medals of honour, appointing senior members of the clergy etc…
Quite a busy schedule of work over the course of the year, but her most important function, has been derogated to her Ministers, who are part of the government in office. What function would that be, that she has given up or maybe never had or used?… Royal Assent.
So what is Royal Assent?
Royal Assent is the final stamp allegedly given by the Queen giving Royal approval for a piece of legislation, an Act of Parliament, a treaty etc to become law.
How can that be? If she has given that up, who does it now? Surely the Queen has the sole right to grant Royal Assent to approve new laws and treaties? The story given by the establishment is that Royal Assent is now given to five of her cousins, each taking turns to hold the “rubber stamp”. There may well be some truth in this tale. The reality is that “Royal Assent” comes from one of the many Government Ministers, who have been given the Royal Prerogative and can act on her behalf, effectively holding that rubber stamp.
Those Ministers will come from the various government departments, and they undoubtedly are keen to have that law get approval. It’s effectively made the final procedure of Royal Assent a formality (a rubber stamp). It’s taken away some of the checks and balances against passing dictatorial and tyrannical laws. We end up getting elected dictatorships. This is a quote from the government’s own website
What they are saying is that the Queen has no say in this process at all. The Government has the say so on whether a Bill is approved.
So that goes some way to explain how the Queen who swore an Oath to defend the Constitution of the United Kingdom let Ted Heath sign the European Communities Act 1972 and then five further treaties with the European Union.
There’s your answer, She is not part of the process and probably never has been. She is totally divorced from the Royal Assent procedure and therefore can’t refuse that Royal Assent. Apparently She has the right to withhold Royal Assent, but has never used it, preferring to keep with tradition and “The Queen abides by the advice of her Ministers” is all you get from her.
This has played into the hands of frankly treasonous government Ministers and Prime Ministers, over the decades since the 1960’s, taking advantage of this loophole. The last time it was withheld was 1707 under Queen Ann. It was almost withheld in 1910.
Asquith PM, was trying to get a pension Bill through parliament, but it was being refused in the House of Lords. Asquith threatened to flood the Lords with hundreds of loyal lords to get his bill passed. They relented, but King Edward VII made Asquith call a General Election to decide on this money bill and Asquith used the Parliament Act once re-elected to get around the Lords refusal to pass it. That was the closest it has come to refusal, since 1707.
King Edward VII died shortly after this historic stand against the government, and George V who inherited the throne was spun the story that new laws required the advice of the Government Minister and so carried on the tradition down the line of requiring government Ministers to approve new laws.
The Queen has never used her powers of refusing the Royal Assent. Isn’t it time she started flexing this right to get our sovereignty back?