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Sending the Queen to plead with Brussels 'ridiculous'

SENDING the Queen to the EU to request an extension to Brexit and prevent a no-deal being forced through by the next prime minister is a “ridiculous idea,” a retired Supreme Court judge said today.

Lord Sumption criticised the proposal after it was reported by Newsnight that senior Tories are considering the use of the “humble address” parliamentary device to get the Queen to travel to the next EU summit to seek a delay to Brexit as a back-up plan.

Lord Sumption, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, added: “I think that MPs putting forward a particular point of view should pipe down on the question of bringing the Queen in because that very fact puts her in an awkward position and makes it more difficult for her and reduces her options.”

He also said the constitutional basis on which the Queen must listen to the Privy Council is that the government commands a majority in the Commons, which it does not.

The Queen should have a source of advice independent of the government on the limits of ministers’ powers, he added.

“So, using the powers of the crown to defeat the majority is a very strange idea. But we’re in an entirely new territory,” he said.

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Robert Griffiths said: “This is a madcap scheme is straight out of Alice in Wonderland.

“In addition to the Queen of Hearts, I’m surprised these MPs aren't also proposing to send the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the White Rabbit as well to the next EU summit.”

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out suspending Parliament in order to push through a no-deal exit unlike his Tory leadership rival Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.


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