by James Barber on 17 January 2013
I was horrified to read that the Queen and Prince of Wales have the ability to block legislation from the UK parliament.
I was horrified enough to hear they were even consulted on legislation but having a power of veto. I had never appreciated how medieval our country’s so called unwritten constitution still is.
To see the guidelines around checking legislation with our anti democratic royals – http://www.republic.org.uk/queensconsentcabinetdoc.pdf
It’s even been claimed that government ministers over the years have exploited the royal family’s secretive power to veto new laws as a way to quell politically embarrassing backbench rebellions.
Amazingly records show at least 39 different laws have been subject to the secretive royal consent arrangement in recent years. Bizarrely royal aides have stated “The sovereign has not refused to consent to any bill affecting crown interests unless advised to do so by ministers.” so when government could resist MP’s wishes they ask the queen to veto parliament!
Even the threat of withholding royal consent has been enough for legislation to be substantially altered – or dropped. This is real power described as “the royal atomic bomb” in the hands of the royals. Over the years we’ve had the nerve to criticise others for not being democratic enough while all along hereditary royals tamp with the people’s wishes.
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