Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the State Opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament in London on June 21, 2017. Queen Elizabeth II will formally open parliament and announce the British government’s legislative programme on Wednesday, two days later than planned. The state opening, a ceremony full of pomp in which the monarch reads out the Queen’s Speech detailing the government’s programme for the coming year, was due to take place on June 19, but was delayed after Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party lost their majority in the House of Commons in the June 8 election. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Stefan Rousseau
Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday presented eight draft laws to take Britain out of the European Union in a legislative programme read out in parliament by Queen Elizabeth II.
The laws include the “Great Repeal Bill” to overhaul existing EU legislation and separate bills on customs, trade, immigration, fisheries and agriculture.
The queen said the “Great Repeal Bill” would repeal the European Communities Act, the 1972 legislation that enshrined Britain’s membership of the European bloc.
“My government’s priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union,” the queen said in the speech.
She said her government would seek “to build the widest possible consensus on the country’s future outside the European Union”, amid divisions within her own cabinet over the best strategy.
Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum last year but there is growing opposition to the government’s “hard Brexit” approach of cutting immigration at the expense of trade ties.