Beneficiaries of the political status quo of the UK’s membership in the European Union (EU) will not yield to popular support for Brexit without a fight, said Henry Olsen, Washington Post columnist and author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism, during a Wednesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Mansour invited Olsen’s comments regarding the UK’s ongoing political impasse, in which Britain’s House of Commons — led by a majority coalition of minority parties headed by Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn — refused to allow for a general election in defiance of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government’s wishes.
Olsen remarked, “We now have something that has never happened in British history. You have a majority of parliament that opposes the government, but will not act to depose the government. In a system like Britain’s, that doesn’t work, and that’s what we’re seeing right now.”
Queen Elizabeth II could leverage her royal authority to block a bill — passed by the UK’s lower legislative house and sent to the House of Lords for debate — seeking to force Boris Johnson to further delay Brexit beyond the scheduled withdrawal date of October 31 rather than withdraw from the EU without an agreement.
“Her majesty must give royal assent [for bills to be enacted],” noted Olsen. “She has an absolute veto that cannot be overridden by parliament. Traditionally, she has followed her ministers’ advice. Well, her ministers don’t want the bill that has been passed and she has no functioning government.”
Olsen added, “If I were Boris Johnson, I would [tell Queen Elizabeth II], ‘Your ministers recommend that you veto this bill so that you and Britain can have a functioning government. They must either back me, sack me, or go to the people.’ That’s what could happen on Monday, because that is the first working day that the Queen has after the bill passes [the House of Lords].”
“This country cannot continue on the path it is on,” said Olsen. “It must be all in or all out, and it needs to be decided, and since parliament seems to be unable to work it out, an election strikes me as the only way forward.”
Olsen linked institutional obstruction of Brexit with a broader global phenomenon of entrenched political figures resisting popular demands from the public.
“If you want significant change in the system you have to stick at it,” Olsen declared. “This is happening all around the world. The people who benefited from changes in the last 30 years are not going away quietly into the night, and that means you have to mobilize, and that means you have to be prepared to fight over and over and over again.”
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