Queen Elizabeth II calls for Christmas calm and civility amid Brexit storm

Source:AFP Published: 2018/12/24 20:18:42

Queen Elizabeth II will call for respect and civility in a Christmas message delivered with Britain badly divided over its impending exit from the European Union (EU).

Tuesday's annual television appearance gives the 92-year-old monarch a rare chance to share some personal thoughts about Brexit.

British royalty traditionally steer well clear of politics - a unifying position that puts them above the daily fray of Westminster and Downing Street.

The queen will not make an overt reference to Britain's departure from the EU after 46 years on March 29, according to extracts released by Buckingham Palace. But she will note that "even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding."

Her address caps a stormy month that saw Prime Minister Theresa May survive a leadership challenge attempt staged by her party's most hardened foes of the EU.

May's entire Brexit strategy is in danger of falling apart at the finish line when Parliament debates it next month.

May was forced to pull a scheduled December vote on her deal with the EU after admitting that it would badly lose.

The prime minister penned a Christmas opinion piece in which she urged lawmakers to end the saga and let people "focus on what really matters." "The sooner MPs agree the right Brexit deal, the sooner we can all get back to dealing with those issues and building a country that works for everyone," May wrote.

Opposition Labour party leader said in his own prerecorded address that Christmas was a time to ponder how "we can build a fairer society which works for everyone."

The queen's 66-year reign has seen her government run by 13 prime ministers dating back to Winston Churchill.

Her longevity and good humor have made the queen into one of the most popular people in a country that loves to poke fun at other royals.



Posted in: EUROPE

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