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It has no power – it’s just for decoration

The Queen certainly does have power, including the power to sign international treaties and deploy British troops abroad.

 

It’s true that most of these “royal prerogative powers” are today exercised by government, but that in itself is a serious problem.

 

These powers have been transferred directly from the monarch to the prime minister and don’t need the approval of parliament, effectively shutting out the British people from important decisions.

 

That is fundamentally anti-democratic – and it can only happen because we have a monarchy.

The Queen and Prince Charles also have the power to veto bills that affect their private interests. 

 

Official legal advice makes clear that Queen’s and Prince’s Consent (as the “royal veto” is officially known) is not a mere formality.

 

The process by which consent is obtained provides a clear opportunity for the Queen and the Prince of Wales to influence the shape and content of a bill before it reaches Parliament.

Then there’s the problem of parliamentary sovereignty.

 

At one point all the power in the land was held by the king or queen.

 

Over time that power moved to parliament and is now held collectively by 650 MPs.

 

However, the fundamental nature of that power hasn’t changed – parliament can make or scrap any law it likes, just as the monarch could in the past.

 

This means our freedoms are never really guaranteed because parliament can always decide to remove them. Again, this a direct result of having a monarchy.

Monarchy Myth Buster

It’s good for tourism

This claim is untrue and irrelevant. Even VisitBritain, our national tourist agency, can’t find any evidence for it.

 

It has no power – it’s just for decoration

The Queen certainly does have power, including the power to sign international treaties and deploy British troops abroad. It’s true that most of these “royal prerogative powers” are today exercised by government, but that in itself is a serious problem.

 

It unites the country

You only have to look around to realise that Britain is no more unified than many republics – in fact, it’s probably less so.

 

It doesn’t cost much – it’s great value for money

Our opposition to the monarchy isn’t about money, it’s about principles. If the monarchy cost nothing, we would still campaign for an elected head of state because hereditary public office has no place in a democracy.

 

The royals do lots for charity

It is true that most royals are “patrons” of a string of charities, but very often this is only on paper – their name may appear on the letterhead, but they are not an active ambassador for that cause.

 

It prevents a dictator by acting as a “constitutional longstop”

The idea that the Queen can act as a check on politicians may be comforting, but it’s a fantasy. The opposite is true – the monarchy gives huge power to politicians, while the Queen just does what she’s told.

 

Who wants another bland or sleazy politician?

Who becomes head of state in a republic is up to you. There’s no reason it has to be an ex-politician – the experience of other European republics shows that voters often choose  colourful characters who have achieved great things.

 

It makes Britain unique

Britain will always be unique. That’s down to the achievements of the British people, our history and culture, even our geographical location.

 

It’s a living link to our history

Of course the monarchy is part of our history – no republican would deny that – but it’s not all of it.

 

It’s unpatriotic to want to abolish the monarchy

That depends how you define patriotism. If you think it’s about putting the interests of one family above those of ordinary Britons, then yes it is.

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