Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Theresa May under pressure as Britain's Queen Elizabeth sets out priorities


After May lost her majority in parliament with a botched gamble on a snap June 8 election, she is trying to secure the backing of the DUP's 10 lawmakers, though talks have dragged on for almost two weeks.

The program set out in the so-called Queen's Speech at the state opening of Parliament will include "a number of bills" meant to make Brexit successful, according to Prime Minister Theresa May's office.

They have a record of opposing Tory austerity and welfare measures in the last parliament, and it is understood that they could support opposition amendments in these areas during the six-day Queen's Speech debate.

"My government's priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union", the Queen said.

A somber Queen's Speech laid out the policy agenda for embattled Prime Minister Theresa May, who on Wednesday officially begins leading a minority government.

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There will be bills to protect British consumers by reducing motor insurance premiums and to boost transport infrastructure.

"All talks of this kind take a long time, they are still continuing".

As the State Opening of Parliament was taking place in London, the Conservatives insisted the negotiations were proceeding as planned. Immigration was the centerpiece issue in the campaign to leave the European Union, and the government has promised to deliver a policy that controls the level of immigration.

Mrs May will need the DUP to back her legislative programme when it goes to a vote next week in order to stay in power.

The Speech confirmed plans for a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

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"Her government committed to legislation to leave the Customs Union and the Single Market and imposing Brexit on the people of the North".

A new strategy for resilience in major disasters could include a Civil Disaster Reaction Taskforce to help at times of emergency.

While powers will be revised, there was no mention of police resources.

The new Commission for Countering Extremism will be given the task of supporting the Government in "stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms".

The legislative frenzy of Tony Blair's administration saw bills peak at 45 in 2005, but numbers have reduced since then, dipping as low as 11 in the final year of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition in 2014, when there was little the two sides could agree on.

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However, the fact that this programme is due to cover two years, rather than the usual one, can not help but give the impression of a relatively lightweight package.

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