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Revealed: Queen vetted 67 laws before Scottish parliament could pass them



Exemptions from environmental standards to be imposed on everyone else...amongst other things...but not on Queen Elizabeth 1st of Scotland. In our unwritten constitution, there are so many things which remain secret...until upturned by force of events, or long afterwards...The secret prerogatives of the Crown, for instance are buried deep...

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The Scottish government has given the Queen advanced access to at least 67 parliamentary bills deemed to affect her public powers, private property or personal interests under an arcane custom inherited from Westminster.

The Queen’s consent procedure, which critics have called anti-democratic, has been used repeatedly by the monarch in recent decades to secretly lobby for changes to proposed UK legislation before it is passed by parliament.

The extent of the practice in Scotland, where it is known as crown consent, has until now been unknown to the public.

Queen secretly lobbied Scottish ministers for climate law exemption

Research by the Guardian has identified 67 instances in which Scottish bills have been vetted by the Queen in the last two decades. They include legislation dealing with planning laws, property taxation, protections from tenants and a 2018 bill that prevents forestry inspectors from entering crown land, including Balmoral, without the Queen’s permission.

Willie Rennie, who recently stood down as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, called for more transparency, adding: “The SNP government must come forward and share the full extent to which this process has influenced the laws we live under.”

Royal courtiers and the Scottish government declined to say how many of these laws were amended as a result of the monarch’s lobbying.

However, the Guardian revealed how the Queen’s lawyers recently successfully persuaded a Scottish minister to give her an exemption from a law that was designed to cut carbon emissions through the construction of heat pipelines.

Evidence of the lobbying effort, which took place five months ago, is contained in a slew of documents obtained by Lily Humphreys, a Scottish Lib Dem researcher, using freedom of information laws.

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