Queen urges Britain to find common ground as Brexit crisis deepens
Queen Elizabeth II has urged Britain to seek out the common ground and grasp the big picture in what's being interpreted as a coded plea to the political class to resolve the Brexit crisis that has shocked investors and allies alike.
While the Queen did not mention Brexit explicitly in a speech to her local Women's Institute in Norfolk, the monarch said every generation faced "fresh challenges and opportunities."
"As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view, coming together to seek out the common ground, and never losing sight of the bigger picture," the monarch said.
The Queen's comments were made at a key moment as Parliament is in a deadlock over a Brexit deal. Next Tuesday, leaders of the House of Commons will debate Prime Minister Theresa May's Plan B as well as alternative plans put forward by lawmakers. There was no doubt the monarch was sending a message, the BBC said.
May's spokesman declined to comment directly on the Queen's remarks, "With great respect, I wouldn't wish to comment directly on the views of her majesty," said the spokesman.
"The prime minister's own view is that we should always show great respect for the point of view of others."
As head of the state, the Queen remains neutral on politics in public and is unable to vote, though ahead of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, she made a delicately crafted plea for Scots to think carefully about their future.
The Brexit crisis deepened after May's deal was rejected by parliament in a resounding 432-202 vote showing the deadlock in the UK Parliament. The divergence has only been further aggravated with some lawmakers wanting a second referendum, others requesting an extension to the two-year Article 50 negotiation period, and some advocating for a hard Brexit.
Although May was determined to resuscitate her rejected European Union divorce deal, setting out plans to get it approved by Parliament after securing changes from the EU to a contentious Irish border measure, her Plan B is a lot like the previous Plan A.
With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Brexit, the United Kingdom is in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project it joined in 1973.