Britons hoping that a quaint historical tradition might stop a Draconian internet surveillance law in its tracks were disappointed on Tuesday morning, when the Queen gave her approval to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

In theory, the Queen has the power of veto over all U.K. legislation as bills do not become law until they receive royal assent.

In practice, though, it’s just a formality: no reigning British monarch has rejected a piece of legislation since 1707. Besides, given the post-Brexit backlash against anyone than Parliament deciding British law, it would have been a daring move for a hereditary head of state.

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