UK to Establish Legislation to Ensure January 31 Brexit Date – Queen Elizabeth II

UK to Establish Legislation to Ensure January 31 Brexit Date – Queen Elizabeth II
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  • calendar-gray 19 December 2019

Queen Elizabeth II announced that the United Kingdom’s new government, headed by Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson, will establish new legislation that will ensure that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union by January 31, as the monarch conducted the official state opening of parliament on Thursday, APA reports citing Sputnik. 

"My government’s priority is to deliver the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on January 31. 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," Queen Elizabeth II told the House of Lords.

The Queen’s Speech is a document produced by a new UK government that summarises the key policies that the new administration will attempt to put into place. This year’s Queen’s Speech contained significant promises to fund the National Health Service (NHS), reinstated the UK’s NATO commitments, and also the country’s plans to conduct free-trade agreements.

"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. They will also begin trade negotiations with other leading global economies," the queen said.

Crucially, the government will look to enshrine NHS funding in law, as well as create a new visa category for qualified doctors, nurses and health professionals. Prior to the election, Johnson promised that the NHS would employ 50,000 new nurses.

"My government will embark on an ambitious program of domestic reform that delivers on the people’s priorities. For the first time, the National Health Service’s multi-year funding settlement, agreed earlier this year, will be enshrined in law," the queen said.

Other major domestic issues that the new Conservative majority will tackle include increasing social care provisions, raising the threshold of National Insurance contributions, and also an increase to the living wage.

The government also announced tougher sentencing for the country’s most violent offenders and terrorists. Before last week’s election, Johnson was accused of politicising the deaths of two prison advocacy workers on London Bridge, who were killed by Usman Khan, who himself was previously convicted of terrorism.

"My ministers will establish a royal commission to review and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice process. New sentencing laws will ensure the most serious violent offenders, including terrorists, serve longer in custody. New laws will require schools, police, councils and health authorities to work together to prevent serious crime," the queen said.

The UK will also continue to meet the NATO target that countries spend 2 per cent of their GDP on defence spending. According to NATO figures, the United Kingdom spent 2.13 per cent of its GDP on defence in 2019.

Johnson’s government will also strive to meet internationally agreed-upon climate targets enshrined in the Paris Agreements. The Conservative government will hope to take steps to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and the UK will also host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2020.

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