Queen’s Speech: Boris Johnson unveils ‘radical’ programme

The Queen's Speech outlines the PM's programme

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Boris Johnson has presented the “most radical Queen's Speech in a generation” with measures to toughen up criminal justice, invest in the NHS and deliver on the “people's priorities”.

Seven of the 25 Bills detailed in the speech are related to Brexit, with legislation on trade, agriculture, fisheries, immigration, financial services and private international law.

The key Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) - which implements the PM's Brexit deal - would allow the UK to leave on January 31, and deliver an implementation period until December 31 2020.

Addressing both Houses of Parliament, the Queen said that taking the UK out of the EU by the deadline of January 31 was her government's “priority”.

She added that it would also embark on an “ambitious programme of domestic reform that delivers on the people's priorities”.

The speech confirmed plans for the “deepest review” of Britain's security defence, and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

The government will also consider whether the Official Secrets Act needs overhauling in the wake of the Salisbury chemical weapons attack and look at whether there is a case for updating the treason laws.

Work will be taken forward to repeal the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act - a move which would enable the Prime Minister to call an election without the consent of Parliament.

The Queen’s Speech is a ceremony that marks the State opening of Parliament and sets out the Prime Minister’s legislative programme.

Today’s, following last week’s general election, was the second in less than three months and took place without some of the traditional ceremony.

The Queen arrived by car rather than carriage and wore a mint green dress and hat rather than her robes and state crown.

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