Queen’s speech: Brexit top priority for UK government

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster | Toby Melville — WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen’s speech: Brexit top priority for UK government

Speech sets out what Boris Johnson wants his government to do.


10/14/19, 1:14 PM CET

Updated 10/14/19, 3:42 PM CET

LONDON — The U.K. government is still determined to see Brexit through by October 31 — and you can take that from the queen.

The monarch opened her speech Monday, which sets out the government’s legislative plans, by making it clear that Boris Johnson’s top priority is “to secure the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 October.”

Speaking from the throne in the House of Lords, the queen said her government intends to develop a new partnership with the EU “based on free trade and friendly cooperation.”

The ceremony marks the beginning of a new parliamentary session and lays out the government’s new legislative agenda, with 26 bills announced on domestic policy areas including crime, immigration, health, and the environment.

However, since Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not command a majority in the House of Commons these plans are unlikely to become law quickly and instead are an indication of what the Tories would promise if they secure a general election.

The speech also set out the government’s intended Brexit outcome, which is subject to agreement with the EU.

In its briefing note accompanying the speech, the government said it intends to implement “a new protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland,

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