German minister sees hope of 'soft' Brexit

Posted June 22, 2017

The program set out in the Queen's Speech at the state opening of Parliament will include "a number of bills" meant to make Brexit successful, according to Prime Minister Theresa May's office. While the Queen is the head of state, she is not the head of government, and this separation is taken seriously in the UK.

However, it is understood that the 91-year-old Monarch will rush to the racecourse straight after she has delivered the speech which is prepared by the government, missing only the first couple of races.

"While this will be a Government that consults and listens, we are clear that we are going to see Brexit through, working with Parliament, business, the devolved administrations and others to ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal", she said.

Theresa May's plan to axe universal free school meals for four- to seven-year-olds has been dumped from the Queen's Speech.

After the general election resulted in a hung parliament, with the PM unable to secure a majority in the Commons, frantic negotiations have been made with the controversial DUP in order to establish a "confidence and supply" deal.

Ahead of today's set-piece event, Mrs May noted how, at the election, over 80 per cent of the electorate backed the two major parties, both of which campaigned on manifestos that said "we should honour the democratic decision of the British people" in the European Union vote.

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Britain's Shadow Finance Minister John McDonnell described the U.K.'s political situation in the run-up to the Queen's Speech as "chaos". However, it faces the prospect of delivering a Queen's speech while still thrashing out a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

Following the negative response to plans in the Tory manifesto to make pensioners pay for social care by selling their homes after they died, the speech promised only a consultation on proposals which will be brought forward to improve social care.

Outside the gates of Westminster Palace the outcry over a deadly tower block fire in a deprived estate nestled in one of London's richest boroughs will manifest in a "Day of Rage" protest which blames the incident on social inequality and years of public spending cuts. The Queen will also not wear her full crown or travel by coach - instead opting for a hat and Royal vehicle. Hundreds of people were due to attend.

British Brexit minister David Davis heads to Brussels on Monday to open divorce talks with the EU with a message that there should be "no doubt - we are leaving the European Union".

The Queen's Speech is delivered to the throne by the Lord Chancellor in a special silk bag.

The highly unusual move would allow MPs to scrutinise "substantial amounts of legislation", she said. Backbenchers have been pushing hard for an enhanced Investigatory Powers Bill in the wake of the recent terror attacks.