Queen's speech dominated by European Union exit

It was a dressed-down affair this year because the election put the date too close to the queen's birthday parade, and it wasn't possible to put on two such occasions within days of one another.

"This is a Government without a majority, without a mandate, without a serious legislative programme, led by a Prime Minister who has lost her personal authority and is struggling even today to stitch up a deal to stay in office", he said.

Interestingly, the short speech also appeared to confirm that U.S. President Donald Trump's planned state visit to the United Kingdom has been postponed indefinitely. The Queen attended the event without her royal paraphernalia as a result of the recent snap election called by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The focus on Brexit was clear as eight of 27 bills outlined in the queen's speech dealt with the technicalities of ending Britain's membership in the EU.

The queen told lawmakers from both the upper and lower houses of parliament that the government is committed to building "the widest possible consensus" on Brexit, working with parliament, devolved administrations, business and others.

Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum previous year but there is growing opposition to the government's "hard Brexit" approach of cutting immigration at the expense of trade ties.

Mr Carmichael said: "This is a historic chance to defeat the Government and force Theresa May to rethink her approach to Brexit".

Following a bruising election which cost her Conservatives their majority in the Commons, Mrs May ditched manifesto plans to scrap universal free school lunches, expand grammars, means-test winter fuel payments, and offer a free vote on fox-hunting.

"The formality is that you can not put the date of the president's state visit into the Queen's Speech until it has been actually agreed".

He added: "An invitation has been extended and accepted".

May is under increasing pressure to do a deal with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) to support her government after almost two weeks of talks.

In remarks following the speech, May acknowledged government failings in helping victims of a massive fire in a west London tower block on June 14.

The queen wore a blue hat dotted with a circle of yellow-centered flowers that prompted many on social media to suggest that she was offering a nod to the European Union flag.

Conservative sources said talks with the DUP were "ongoing" after the Northern Irish party warned its support can not be "taken for granted".

  • Leroy Wright