Scottish independence: The Queen 'is above politics' and 'will not influence' referendum

Buckingham Palace says politicians have a duty to ensure her impartiality

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Buckingham Palace has made the Queen's position clear on Scottish independence following calls from politicians for the monarch to intervene - by advising she is "above politics" and will not be drawn into the debate.

The Queen has been urged to make her views known by politicians in a bid to counter growing support for the independence campaign, while Alex Salmond has said he believes the Queen would be "proud" to be "Queen of Scots".

After reports over the weekend claimed the Queen was growing increasingly concerned about Scotland breaking away, a Palace spokesman stressed any suggestion the head of state wanted to influence the referendum vote was "categorically wrong".

Calls for the Queen to influence the debate followed worrying results for the No campaign, with recent polls indicating a surge of support for Mr Salmond’s pro-independence campaign. A TNS survey found 39 per cent of people said they would vote to stay together, while 38 per cent said they would back the Yes campaign.

But the Palace said politicians have a duty to help the monarch retain her position of political impartiality.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "The sovereign's constitutional impartiality is an established principle of our democracy and one which the Queen has demonstrated throughout her reign.

"As such the monarch is above politics and those in political office have a duty to ensure this remains the case. [...] Her Majesty is simply of the view this is a matter for the people of Scotland."

Video: David Cameron on Scottish independence

If the Scottish independence campaign were successful there would be little change to the Queen's public duties. Her public duties in Scotland like holding audiences with the First Minister or hosting investiture ceremonies would carry on as normal.

The Scottish Government white paper on independence says that the Queen would remain head of state in an independent Scotland, as she is in the UK and 15 other nations like Canada and Jamaica, known as the Queen's realms.

On Wednesday, David Cameron delivered a personal appeal to the people in Scotland, urging them not to “rip apart” the United Kingdom when they cast their votes on 18 September.

Mr Cameron will be joined by Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband in Scotland today, where all three will be pushing support for 'No' votes.

Comments