» Thursday, November 26, 2009

Act of Succession

The PMS was then asked about the forthcoming visit to Trinidad for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and whether the Prime Minister would raise the issue of the Act of Succession, to which she referred the press to the Prime Minister’s answers in yesterday’s PMQs. She iterated that the Prime Minister had said that the Act was outdated; it could only be changed with the agreement of other Commonwealth countries and that process would be undertaken in due course. She said that it was not on the formal agenda for CHOGM but it could come up in the margins and bilaterals.

Asked how long the Prime Minister expected the process to go on for, she reiterated that it would take the agreement of all the Heads of State of all the countries involved and that it would be a matter for each of those countries to decide on how to progress that. This was a complex issue that would take time.

When asked whether we were any further forward in the process given that the Prime Minister said what he said yesterday a year ago, the PMS replied that there was no easy set of answers; progress needed to be made but it would take time.

When asked what discussions the Prime Minister and the Queen would have to have with the Church of England, she said there was no suggestion of ending the requirement that the sovereign must be in communion with the Church of England and to do so would undermine the position of the Church of England as the established church with the Sovereign as the supreme governor.

Asked how many countries are involved in this, the PMS answered 15. Put to her that it was only Canada, Australia and New Zealand involved, she said there were 15 countries of which the Queen, apart from the UK, is the Head of State and those countries would have to individually decide how to take this forward. She explained that if only two countries decided on a way forward, it would still be the case that the other countries would have to reach an agreement.

The PMS was then asked whether the Prime Minister had a view on who the Head of the Commonwealth should be if the Queen should die, she replied that the Act of Succession was in place and there were absolutely no plans for any changes to the structure or framework of the Commonwealth.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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