Britain's May promises to listen on Brexit as queen presents government program
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 22:11
However, "despite the Queen's speech being diluted", says James Kirkup in The Spectator, "May has retained her political aim: to use domestic policy to reach out to voters beyond the Conservative base, while relying on her commitment to Brexit to lock in "leave-voting" Tories and former UKIPers".
- A trade bill to let Britain operate its own independent trade policy when it leaves the EU.
The failure of Theresa May's Conservative Party to secure an overall majority means that she will find it far more hard to deliver on some of the legislative changes she promised during the election.
Alongside a repeal bill to convert European Union law into United Kingdom law, there are seven proposed laws to help the government deliver on Brexit.
Brexit is widely expected to be at the forefront of the Queen's Speech today, when the Queen will deliver an address covering a two-year parliamentary period instead of the usual one as the United Kingdom negotiates to leave the European Union.
Parliament will also introduce a new bill on immigration.
Prince Philip, the husband of the queen, didn't attend after being hospitalized for an infection.
Meanwhile, May-led Conservatives are still trying to agree terms with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to secure their support for a minority government after the snap general election failed to win a majority for the ruling party.
The Queen's Speech lacked the usual level of pomp and pageantry, with the Queen ditching her traditional red velvet Robe of State and crown for a blue day dress and hat, and swapping her horse-drawn carriage for a vehicle.
The Queen said the government would "work to improve social care and will bring forward proposals for consultation".
"The election result was not the one I hoped for, but this government will respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent".
But flagship manifesto policies which find no place in the Conservative agenda included the scrapping of universal free school lunches, means-testing of the winter fuel payment, an energy price cap and the reform of social care funding which opponents branded a "dementia tax".
Lawmakers will have to approve the speech in a vote, expected next Thursday, that will be a de facto vote of confidence.
Opposition Labour party and the Liberal Democrats each plan to put forward alternative versions of the Queens speech.
"My government's counter-terrorism strategy will be reviewed to ensure that the police and security services have all the powers they need and that the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offenses are sufficient to keep the population safe", the Queen said.