Older Tories trying to block a no-deal Brexit are investigating a radical plan involving the Queen, Newsnight has learned The rebel group is so worried that the next prime minister may ignore Parliament's will that she has discussed a scheme to ask the Queen to intervene.
In a sign of the feverish atmosphere in Westminster, these conservatives are considering holding a vote on a parliamentary device known as a modest address to the Queen.
If adopted, the speech would suggest that the Queen would be asked to exercise her right to head to travel if the new Prime Minister rejects a rejection of a treaty for the next EU summit. According to their plan, they would then request an extension of the procedure under Article 50.
Under EU rules, Member States are usually represented by a Head of State or Government at European Council meetings. The Queen is the head of state of the United Kingdom, although it can be assumed that no European monarch has ever officially represented his country at an EU summit.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
A request to the Queen to attend a European Summit would be considered the most extraordinary political step in her 67-year reign.
It would probably be seen as a violation of the unwritten rules of the British constitutional monarchy stating that the queen should be kept away from the political arena.
But the Tory rebels have discussed such a radical move to investigate because they have done so two fears of a Boris Johnson government:
- He failed to reach an agreement by holding a vote in parliament that refused such a step, simply ignored. The rebels expect Commons spokesman John Bercow to give them the opportunity in the fall to amend the law to ensure that Britain can only leave the EU with an agreement. But the rebels fear that he might then argue with Emmanuel Macron to ensure that the French president agrees with the UK's request for an extension of Article 50. Boris is so aggressive with the EU that Macron charges, only the United States Kingdom to let go. Even if the parliament does not block an agreement, this could still happen.
"One option is a modest address to Her Majesty, who would humbly request that Her Majesty request an extension of Article 50. If that were to happen, it would be an instruction to her first minister, but what if the new one Prime Minister refuses to give the modest speech
"Under EU law, only two representatives of a Member State can participate in the European Council and negotiate on behalf of a Member State: Head of Government or Head of State So we could just ask the Queen to leave and submit the request for renewal.
Senior Tory told Newsnight that the idea of a humble address to the Queen is being seriously considered.
It is hard to imagine that the Queen intervened so directly in politics, even though the scheme was attempted.