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英國新首相把女王和脫歐綁在了一起,可謂史無前例

Katherine Dunn 2019年09月08日

約翰遜的這一步很不平常,肯定引起巨大爭議。

現在,我們進入了《王冠》的最終季。

8月28日上午,英國首相鮑里斯·約翰遜請求伊麗莎白二世女王下令議會休會。這是一項“皇家特權”,也是約翰遜為更緊密地控制英國脫歐進程所采取的最新措施。到目前為止,此項請求是女王最接近脫歐泥潭的一步。

當日下午,女王在巴爾莫拉城堡,也就是她在蘇格蘭高地的夏日行宮,批準了此項請求。

約翰遜的這一步很不平常,這樣做會引起巨大爭議。休會意味著議會徹底停止辯論和投票,從而將正在進行的立法活動基本清零。議會重開后,未通過的提案一般都必須重頭再來。作為脫歐強硬派,約翰遜祭出此招的目的是阻撓議會,而后者希望避免無協議脫歐,或者說避免英國在10月底脫歐時可能制定出寥寥無幾的方案,甚至沒有方案。

出于政治原因讓議會休會的情況極為反常,但也不是從未出現過。上次英國發生這樣的局面是在1948年,當時出現了政治危機,政府想推翻議會上院的決定。更近的一次情況則出現和英國政體相似的加拿大,時間是2008年。加拿大總督,或者說英國女王在加拿大的代表,最終同意了加拿大總理的議會休會請求,目的是防止政府解體及隨后進行大選。此舉引發了強烈抗議,也讓總督的角色受到了質疑。

此前女王一直竭力置身于英國政治之外,約翰遜卻將自己傾向明顯的策略放在了女王手中,這頗具諷刺意味。今年1月,女王曾經在講話中敦促英國人采用“經過檢驗的”方法,尊重不同的觀點,找到共同之處,而且“絕不要忽略大局”。這些話立即被解讀為呼吁停止政治紛爭,并終結2016年脫歐公投后英國政界猶豫不決狀態。

但盡管想方設法避開政治重擔,女王的身份仍然意味著她可以決定眾多政府事務。比如,選出新一屆政府后,她要批準其“成立”。

那么,女王在當前情況下有可能跟約翰遜站在一起嗎?傳統決定了女王一般都會遵循首相的建議,原因是后者被視為民眾意愿的代表。女王或許會對首相提出建議或警告,但實際上從未出現過她否決首相計劃的情況。就這樣,約翰遜的提議使女王陷入前所未有的困境,從而迫使她做出選擇——要么違反皇家協定,要么批準約翰遜的請求,而批評約翰遜的人已經將此舉稱為公然搶奪權力和違背英國的民主精神。

現在,約翰遜當下的措施將讓議會休會23個工作日,從而縮短了后者的準備時間——10月底脫歐前英國將和歐盟進行一次關鍵會議。議會運作周期被壓縮后,議員們需要在更短的時間里找到避免英國無協議脫歐的辦法。(財富中文網)

譯者:Charlie

審校:夏林

At this point, we’re in final season of The Crown territory.

On August 28 morning, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend the U.K. Parliament—a process that is a “"Royal Pregrogative” power—in his latest effort to more closely control how the U.K. leaves the European Union. The request is so far the closest the monarch has come to getting stuck in the Brexit quagmire.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Queen approved the suspension from Balmoral Castle, her summer home in the highlands of Scotland.

Johnson’s move is extraordinary because it is so incendiary. Suspending Parliament means debating and voting in Parliament completely stops, and it largely wipes clean ongoing legislative activity. Unpassed measures must be typically restarted from scratch when the next session begins. Johnson, a pro-Brexit hardliner, is pulling this lever in a bid to frustrate legislation aimed at avoiding a no-deal Brexit or the possibility the U.K. will crash out of the EU at the end of October with few, if any, plans in place.

Suspending Parliament for political reasons is extremely unusual but not completely unheard of. It last happened in 1948, during a political crisis in which the U.K. government attempted to overrule the House of Lords, the U.K.’s upper house. A more comparable case occurred in 2008 in Canada, which has a U.K.-style political system. The Governor General, the Queen’s representative in Canada, ultimately agreed to the prime minister’s request to suspend Parliament, a move that was intended to prevent his government from falling, which would have triggered an election. The move drew outcry, including raising questions about the Governor General’s role.

That Johnson’s partisan gamesmanship was put in the hands of the Queen is ironic given her herculean efforts to stay out of U.K. politics. In January, she made a speech urging Britons to look to the “tried and true” methods of respecting different points of view, finding common ground, and “never losing sight of the bigger picture.” Those were immediately interpreted as a plea to end the political bickering and indecision that has dominated British politics since the vote to leave the EU in 2016.

But for all of her attempts to avoid political albatrosses, the Queen, by definition, holds sway over a wide range of government actions. When a new government is elected, for instance, she approves its “forming.”

So, was she likely to side with Johnson in this instance? Tradition dictates that the Queen typically follows the advice of the prime minister, since he or she is seen as representing the will of the people. The Queen may advise or warn a leader, but it is essentially unheard of for her to reject the agenda of the U.K.’s head of government. Johnson’s request, therefore, put the Queen in an unprecedented bind, having to choose between rejecting royal protocol or approving what Johnson’s critics say is a blatant power grab that defies the spirit of British democracy.

At present, Johnson’s current plan would suspend Parliament for 23 working days, reducing the lead-up to a crucial meeting with the EU ahead of the October 31 deadline for the U.K. to leave the EU. The abbreviated schedule would give MPs a shorter time frame to figure out how to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

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