LONDON — Brexit took a central role as Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the U.K. parliament after the general election and announced the government’s program for the year ahead.
The program — read out by the monarch in the House of Lords during a tradition known as the queen’s speech — includes seven crucial pieces of Brexit legislation that the House of Commons will need to pass in order to fulfill Boris Johnson’s plans.
“My government’s priority is to deliver the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on January 31,” the queen said in her statement prepared by Downing Street. “My ministers will bring forward legislation to ensure the United Kingdom’s exit on that date and to make the most of the opportunities that this brings for all the people of the United Kingdom.
“Thereafter, my ministers will seek a future relationship with the European Union based on a free-trade agreement that benefits the whole of the United Kingdom,” the queen added. “They will also begin trade negotiations with other leading global economies.”
In an introduction to the queen’s speech, Johnson said his first task will be to “get Brexit done,” adding he had a “pre-cooked deal Brexit meal ready to pop in the microwave” to “release the country from the stranglehold of indecision restoring confidence to people and businesses.”
Here is a list of the most eye-grabbing proposed laws in Johnson’s legislative program:
Withdrawal Agreement Bill
The Brexit legislation taking the U.K. out of the EU by January 31 and implementing the Brexit deal struck by Johnson will be subject to its first vote Friday. The bill kicks off a transition period due to end on December 31 2020,