On the 14th of March, it is expected that the Queen will back Brexit and give her Royal Assent to the Brexit bill, which has just been passed in Parliament. Royal assent is when the Queen formally agrees to make a bill into a law. The bill is then expected to become law on Tuesday.
Members of Parliament who previously had doubts about Brexit have had their objections overturned by MPs, meaning the way is clear for Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Article 50, once the Queen has given her approval.
It’s reported that the Bill will arrive in one of the Queen’s official
red boxes, where she receives official government papers to approve and
Typically, the Queen will not give royal assent in person
(something that hasn’t happened since 1854). But can the Queen stop
Brexit, if she wanted to? In short, no, as it’s widely understood that
the Queen’s assent is something of a formality, and that she would
always give consent if the bill has already been approved in Parliament.
When royal assent is made, an announcement will be made in the House of
Lords and the House of Commons, and the law will usually come into immediate
It had been expected that the Prime Minister would then invoke Article 50 today, but it’s now being said that it won’t happen before the end of March, specifically the 27th. And Downing Street maintains that Theresa May had always intended to wait until then, with her official spokesperson quoted as saying “I’ve said ‘end’ many times but it would seem I didn’t put it in capital letters strongly enough.”
Theresa May will then be able to begin discussions about the process of the UK leaving the EU, following a summit with all of the remaining 27 states that form the union on March 25th. The summit will mark the 60th anniversary of the European Union.
The news comes a day after Nicola Sturgeon announced that she would be asking permission for a second referendum vote for Scottish independence. However, it is reported that the Prime Minister will reject a referendum before the Brexit process is completed – and it’s expected to take up to two years.
So what is the Queen’s view on Brexit? Well, it has been the subject of much debate, given the royals tendency to stay neutral on political affairs. But there was a huge amount of controversy back in March last year when newspaper The Sun said that the Queen supported Britain leaving the EU. Apparently, a BBC political editor had been told that the Queen said, “I don’t see why we can’t just get out. What’s the problem?”, at a private lunch.