Surely it hasn’t really taken Brexit to get Whitehall thinking about the safety of the Queen?

9 Feb 2019

 

I think it is true to say that there are few around who want the United Kingdom to leave the European Union without a deal on March 29th. Admittedly, it may not be quite as many as those who don't want us to leave the European Union at all on that date, (or, indeed, ever), but it is a substantive number nonetheless.

 

It will likely come as no surprise, that this has sent project hysteria into overdrive. The boom of doom has been ever present since the June 2016 referendum, but has really intensified over the last few months. Of course, the total debacle that we are seeing from Westminster, has only fuelled the fire. We have heard talk of the economy crashing, roads clogging up, food supplies running out, medicine shortages, no more traveling (because planes will be grounded and ports closed), queues at borders, the army mobilised, martial law and serious national security problems.

 

And it doesn't stop there. The latest, as reported in the Sunday Times last week, is that plans are being made to evacuate the Queen in the event of civil unrest. Apparently, the authorities are concerned that Her Majesty may become a target of public anger in the event of a no deal Brexit. This is because she has become "dangerously politicised", (as The Times quoted a ‘Cabinet Office’ source), and dragged into the Brexit debate. After all, she has worn a blue hat with yellow dots on it, and spoken a few words of wisdom on dealing with differences -- how absolutely dare she.

 

Apparently, fears for Her Majesty’s safety should things not pan out with Brussels have seen measures that were drawn up during the Cold War dusted off by Whitehall. Back in the 60's, these involved transferring the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to the royal yacht Britannia in the case of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Britannia was decommissioned in 1997, so the plans have been amended to now consist of whisking them off to a new secret location.

 

The problem with all of this, for me anyway, is that it just doesn't make sense. I am not saying that a no deal Brexit will be easy - far from it. Should it happen, it is going to be tough and complicated – it will hurt. However, the press and media have become such peddlers of panic that I can no longer take them seriously.

 

Furthermore, it is completely illogical to suggest that any unrest would only be in the case of no deal. Surely, just as much outrage would be expected in the case of no Brexit or a 'People's Vote'. Even though there are millions of people who are likely to be utterly incensed should the result of the referendum not be honoured, the press and media seem to be completely blasé about it.

 

And it becomes even more laughable when we consider that protecting royals and tourist hotspots is just the tip of the iceberg. Should trouble kick off in the United Kingdom, in any way through Brexit, it is likely to be aimed at political targets, such as party headquarters and local offices. As we have seen recently in France, it will be the public with their lives most impacted. Their cars will be the ones turned over and set on fire, their property vandalised, their shops looted. Are we to conclude, going by the headlines (or lack thereof) that this is regarded as mundane?

 

I am sure that there are elements of truth in the story, don’t get me wrong. It would make perfect sense for there to be constant plans designed to keep Her Majesty and her family safe. The same would go for other high-profile targets, I would assume. I am wondering if this story isn’t something of a ‘banker’, to be released at the right time.

 

In a strange way I am hoping that this is the case, because if such considerations have only arisen due to the possibility of a no deal Brexit, then one would really have to worry about the people who are being paid a lot of money, in order to keep our head of state safe.

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