LONDON — Even the Queen is starting to get frustrated that the government isn’t revealing any of its Brexit plans.
According to a report in The Times on Friday, Britain’s monarch was left “disappointed” by Prime Minister Theresa May when May visited the royal residence at Balmoral in Scotland, and refused to share plans about Brexit.
“Mrs May stuck to her ‘Brexit means Brexit’ line during the visit to Scotland in September rather than giving a private briefing on how she intended to negotiate Britain’s way out of the European Union, according to a source close to the monarch,” the story from The Times’ Valentine Low says.
This is just the latest in a long line of snubs from May when asked to discuss Brexit plans.
Since taking over the premiership, May has consistently refused to comment on the approach the government is taking to Brexit negotiations. She has instead stuck to vague assertions such as “Brexit means Brexit,” and saying that she wants a “red, white, and blue Brexit.”
May’s refusal to discuss Brexit plans in any form has become a source of great annoyance to many within Westminster, and she has continually faced criticism from opposition parties, as well as allegations that her unwillingness to discuss the process for leaving the EU in any great detail is a sign that the government doesn’t really have a concrete plan.
This has been backed up by numerous assertions that government departments are under-resourced, and that many of the people tasked with preparing for the EU exit don’t actually know what they’re supposed to be aiming for.
A team of researchers at the House of Commons Library produced a report summing up the situation in November: “What do we not know about Brexit? An awful lot. We don’t even know when the negotiations can start, let alone what they will be about or when they will end.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesman did not deny the story to The Times, but called it “conjecture,” saying: “By long-established convention we never disclose details of discussions between the Queen and her prime ministers. Nor would we comment on anonymously sourced conjecture of this kind.”
Downing Street said: “We never comment on private conversations with the Queen.”
Earlier this year, the Queen hit headlines regarding Brexit when The Sun newspaper published a front page story claiming that she backed Britain leaving the EU, according to an anonymous source’s report of a lunch with former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during his time in government.
The story was swiftly denied by Buckingham Palace. It is a long-standing tradition that no member of the Royal Family ever publicly comments on any political development or story. Royals also refrain from voting in elections.
Later in the year it emerged that the story may have been leaked to The Sun by prominent Brexiteer and failed prime ministerial candidate Michael Gove.
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