Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Queen outlines UK government agenda in scaled-down speech

Ellis Copeland | 22 June, 2017, 08:01

"Queen delivers speech outlining Brexit plans wearing a hat that looks suspiciously like a EUROPEAN flag", the right-wing, anti-EU Daily Mail newspaper tweeted.

Nor was there a mention of U.S. President Donald Trump's previously announced, but as yet unscheduled, state visit.

Trump reportedly told May in a phone call that he would not undertake a visit until the British public became in favour.

But a series of controversial proposals set out in the Conservative manifesto were absent from the speech, and from the list of 27 bills the government hopes to pass.

Emboldened by a better than expected election result, Mr Corbyn said his party was "not merely an opposition: we are a government in waiting".

What was in the speech?

May said her officials are in talks with their counterparts in Scotland over whether the Edinburgh parliament will be legally required to give its consent to the so-called Repeal Bill, which paves the way for Brexit.

Almost a third of the bills are created to deal with Brexit alone.

And Parliament will also introduce a new bill on immigration. At least 79 people are presumed dead in one of the country's worst disasters in a generation.

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The Queen also said that in light of recent terror attacks, existing laws would be revised.

While powers will be revised, there was no mention of police resources.

"These are the questions that people need answered by the new government", she added. Corbyn had already said that his party could vote against the Queen's Speech and even offer up some amendments.

This afternoon, just a few hours after the Parliament speech, the queen made a quick switch into a bright yellow coat with a floral dress to attend the Royal Ascot horse races.

Shortly before the event, Buckingham Palace announced that the queen's husband, Prince Philip, 96, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday evening as a "precautionary measure".

Theresa May now leads a minority Government and she will have to make compromises on her previous hardline stance on Brexit negotiations. But the gamble backfired spectacularly with her Conservative Party losing its majority, and now forced to negotiate with a small, right-wing North Irish party to ensure the government has majority support in the House of Commons on key issues.

In her speech Wednesday, the Queen laid out a policy agenda that focused heavily on Brexit.

It was welcome that the Queen's Speech contained a commitment to maintain spending of 2% of national income on defence, and pledged to ensure the Armed Forces Covenant applies right across the United Kingdom, which has not always been the case in Northern Ireland. "Two years? There's not enough in it to last one year".

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