6

Responding to complaints about the tight schedule for the Brexit bill, Rees-Mogg said

"A king emperor left in 24 hours, and we are removing an imperial yoke in over a week," he added.

Clearly the "imperial yoke" refers to the EU. But what is the "king emperor [who] left in 24 hours" analogy referring to?

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    Perhaps more importantly what has that got to do with anything? – Jontia Oct 22 at 12:24
  • @Jontia: give what he was actually referring to, it's probably some mythological Conservative [morals] victory that Rees-Mogg probably tried to drum up. Churchill being involved in it and so forth. Also, the "depraved" king analogized with the "depraved" EU even if he doesn't use that word. – Fizz Oct 22 at 12:34
  • @Jontia He's basically pointing out two cases - the abdication of Edward VIII and the Benn Act - that can provide a viewpoint that the complaints about the "tight schedule" are either invalid or hypocritical (depending on the complainer's opinion of the Benn Act). Much of UK Law is based on Precedent, so he's demonstrating some that support his personal position. I'm sure that his opponents could probably dig up some counter-examples if they wanted to. – Chronocidal Oct 22 at 12:44
  • @Chronocidal I sort of meant, is the legislation for changing a figure head King in any way comparable to the legislation involved in leaving the European Union. After all, I made breakfast this morning on a tight schedule, so lunch for 1500 people at the office etc, etc... – Jontia Oct 22 at 14:40
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    @Chronocidal The Benn act was remarkably straightforward the whole paper could be read in 15mins. Monarchs are expected to be replaced. Abdication may have been unusual but all our previous monarchs left the job at some point. It is a routine matter. Neither situation is a good comparison to 125 pages of legislation backed by 240? Pages of explanatory notes and the biggest and most divisive constituatual change since well ever. – Jontia Oct 22 at 16:52
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He was actually more explicit

He goes on: ‘The Benn Act, shows you you can do things very quickly but, perhaps more importantly, we got rid of the King Emperor in 24 hours in 1936, we can get rid of the Imperial yoke of Brussels just as quickly I would expect.’

So he was referring to the abdication of Edward VIII.

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    Though he is absolutely wrong about getting rid of a King-Emperor. They just replaced Edward VIII with George VI. – jamesqf Oct 22 at 17:16
  • @jamesqf: the version quoted by the BBC wasn't so bombastic "the" -> "a" and "we got rid" -> "left". I guess he got carried away. – Fizz Oct 22 at 18:34
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    Still, however it's worded, my point stands. They didn't get rid of anything, any more than they did when George VI died and Elizabeth II took over. Admittedly, they did get rid of the Emperor part somewhere along the line, but IIRC that took several years. – jamesqf Oct 24 at 3:04
  • @jamesqf: I agree, presenting the abdication of one monarch which was replaced by another under practically the same constitutional arrangements is hardly a good analogy for the legislative changes required by Brexit. – Fizz Oct 24 at 8:12

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