Queen Elizabeth outlines new gov't bills to pave way for Britain outside EU

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-21 19:51:40|Editor: ying
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LONDON, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Queen Elizabeth outlined a two-year government program of laws and measures at the state opening of the British Parliament Wednesday.

The monarch was accompanied at the formal ceremony at the Houses of Parliament by her eldest son and heir to the British throne, Prince Charles.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen's husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, has been taken as a precaution to a hospital in London Tuesday night to be treated for an infection.

The Queen's speech, written by the Conservative government, covers the two-year period during which Britain will negotiate with Brussels its exit from the European Union (EU).

In her speech, Queen Elizabeth gave details of proposals by Prime Minister Theresa May's government to pave the way for Britain's future outside of the EU. She started her speech: "My government's priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union."

The speech set out government proposals to deliver eight bills necessary for Brexit, including legislation allowing Britain to determine its own immigration, customs and trade arrangements. The aim, said the monarch, was for Britain to make a success of Brexit.

But the Queen said it was the government's intention to continue its close relationship with Europe, while at the same time forging new links across the globe.

She said: "My government will seek to maintain a deep and special partnership with European allies and to forge new trading relationships across the globe. New bills on trade and customs will help to implement an independent trade policy, and support will be given to help British businesses export to markets around the world."

Political commentators immediately seized on the fact that a number of key proposals put forward in the recent Conservative Party election manifesto have been dropped.

This follows a dismal election result which saw May losing her majority in the House of Commons, and instead emerging as the leader of a minority government.

The speech included measures to increase worker protection, and also ensure taxation is kept low.

The Queen's speech covered domestic issues such as education, the NHS, giving mental health a priority, and also paving the way for the next phase of Britain's north-south high speed rail network.

Following the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, said the monarch, the government is to establish a new commission to counter extremism and "stamp out extremist ideology in all its forms, both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to spread."

The Queen said in the light of the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, the government's counter-terrorism strategy will be reviewed to ensure that the police and security services have all the powers they need, and that the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences are sufficient to keep the population safe.

The speech also referred to issues and problems linked to the digital age.

The Queen said: "A new law will ensure that the UK retains its world-class regime protecting personal data, and proposals for a new digital charter will be brought forward to ensure that Britain is the safest place to be online."

The Queen also announced that King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain will pay a state visit to Britain in July.

Media commentators reacted by saying the speech made no reference to a state visit by the U.S. President Donald Trump, but Downing Street played down this omission.