For Scotland’s energy transition, property owners have to cut back – this is enshrined in the new Scottish law, the Thermal Energy Act. But there is an exception in the set of rules for the landowner who stands out from all people: Elizabeth II, Queen of England. Your lawyer is said to have taken care of the special rule in confidential lobbying reports The British newspaper “The Guardian”.
Scottish landowners may have to sell their land to make way for new heat pipelines. This technology should enable climate-friendly heating networks and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But Buckingham Palace’s lawyers are said to have insisted that royal land ownership be exempted from the law, according to The Guardian. in one The corresponding amendment specifically mentions the land owned by the Queen.
In doing so, Buckingham Palace appears to have exploited a controversial formality in Scottish law – a royal consent requirement called ‘Queen’s consent’. According to this rule, a lawyer for the royal family must be informed if there is a new law that could affect the king’s powers or private interests. Actually a formality – which, according to critics, the royal family often uses to influence legislation for its own benefit. The hot thing: According to the Guardian, members of Parliament were not informed of the intervention of the king’s lawyer.
Andy Whiteman, MP, questioned the exemption in February during the legislative debate. This was necessary in order to achieve “smooth adoption,” as stated in the statement made by Scottish Energy Secretary Paul Wellhouse at the time. According to the Guardian, Wellhouse should not have disclosed that lawyers at Buckingham Palace insisted on an exception. Rep. Whiteman ‘shocked’ at royal intervention: ‘It should have been said in the debate,’ he was quoted by The Guardian. In the past few months, the newspaper has published several times about how the British royal family has affected the legislative process.
The royal family rejects the impression that the law has been changed in favor of the Queen: “The royal family can be consulted on the laws to ensure technical accuracy and consistency in the application of laws to the Crown,” one spokesperson was quoted by The Guardian. “This process does not change the nature of such a law.”
The royal family is one of the largest landowners in the UK – and a historic property is paying off: by renting out Crown lands, monarchs have bolstered their treasuries for centuries.
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