The Queen calls for people to 'find common ground' in nod to Brexit

The Queen calls for people to 'find common ground' in nod to Brexit

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Queen has spoken in favour of individuals seeking "common ground" and "never losing sight of the bigger picture" in what is likely to be interpreted as a veiled reference to the Brexit debate.

Echoing the message of her Christmas Day address, the monarch also extolled the virtues of "respecting" the other person's point of view, in a speech to mark the centenary of the Sandringham Women's Institute (WI).

As head of state, the Queen remains publicly neutral when it comes to political matters and does not express her views on issues.

But commentators were likely to see her words as a nod to the toxic mood of the public debate around Britain leaving the EU.

Parliament remains deeply divided over the way forward, with politicians on all sides engaged in bitter wrangling as the date for Britain leaving the EU - March 29 - draws ever closer.


‘Coming together’

The Queen, who is president of the Sandringham WI, said: "Reflecting on a century of change, it is clear that the qualities of the WI endure.

"The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community-focus, and considering the needs of others, are as important today as they were when the group was founded all those years ago.

"Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities.

"As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture.

"To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone."

In her Christmas address the Queen touched on the same theme, telling the nation: "Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding."

The Queen attends a meeting of the her local WI once a year at West Newton village hall as part of her winter stay on her Norfolk estate.