Brexit: Why is UK Still Relying on France?

  • Interestingly, the British political system still uses the French dialect from the Normandy region.
  • When the bill passes third reading, it gets written in the book as "Soit baillé aux Seigneurs."
  • The last monarch to refuse to sign a bill was Queen Anne of England in 1707.

Brexit continues to dominate world news. If there is a strategy, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s next move will shape the future of the world’s fifth-largest economy. The fate of the Brexit endeavor is at stake, which both sides cast as the United Kingdom’s most significant decision in a century. Brexit is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union after the referendum held on June 23, 2016 in which 51.9% of those voting supported leaving the EU. They voted for full independence from all EU mandates and laws across the board. The UK Parliament is now closed for five weeks and the recent political turmoil has caused more questions than answers.

Interestingly, the British political system still uses the French dialect from the Normandy region. Norman-French is used to describe not only the Norman language, but also the administrative languages of Anglo-Norman and French law used in England. Following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the Norman language was spoken by the new rulers of England for about 200 years.

The British House of Lords uses this dialect when bills are introduced into the  House of Lords for examination, discussion and amendment, befote the bill is transferred to the Queen of England to sign. There are three different types of bills: Public, Private and Hybrid bills. There is also another kind of Public Bill called Private Members’ Bills.

Image Source: Thelocal.fr

A proposed new law is called a bill and they must be agreed by both Houses of Parliament and receive  a signature from the Queen before they can become Acts of Parliament making it into law.

The bill is always introduced by a First Reading, with an official notice that a bill is going to be proposed and a description. It gives Members of Parliament (MPs) time to prepare and discuss it.

Shortly afterwards comes the Second Reading, where the principles are considered on the floor of the House. Afterwards the bill is then sent to be looked at by small groups of MPs who examine the bill in greater detail.

At the Third Reading there is debate and a vote on the bill occurs. If the idea has a majority, the bill is then passed to the House of Lords.

Once a bill has passed through both Houses, it is sent to the Queen for the royal signature. Once it has a royal signature the bill becomes an Act of Parliament. It is the law of the land.

When the bill passes third reading, it gets written in the book as “Soit baillé aux Seigneurs.” Additionally when the bill is passed by the House of Lords it is documented in the book as “A ceste bille les Seigneurs sont assentus.” If the House of Commons makes any changes it has always stated it with the phrase “A ces amendmens les Communes sont assentus.”

NOTE: The reigning Queen Elizabeth II has never denied signing a bill and she has been the 6th longest ruling monarch. It would be prudent to observe how the future of Brexit will affect Queen Elizabeth II and her eagerness to sign future bills. The last monarch to refuse to sign a bill was Queen Anne of England in 1707. The bill was for settling the militia in Scotland.

When the budget bill is read the statement follows with “La Reyne, remerciant Ses bons Subjects, accepte leur Benevolence, et ainsi le veult.” For regular bills the phrase is “La Reyne le veult.” During the time of the private bills it would be “Soit fait come il est desire.”

Given the history of the UK, it has always been interconnected with other European nations, especially France. The continued use of the French dialect by the UK government shows a continuation of the French influence.

If Britain wants to be separate on every level, why continue using French in their government traditions?

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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