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Queen outlines UK PM’s Brexit agenda

Brexit and the NHS have dominated the Conservative government’s agenda set out in the Queen’s Speech.

The government announced its “priority” is the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) on January 31 and a commitment to enshrine in law extra funding for the NHS.

Of the more than 30 bills announced in the Queen’s Speech, seven were on Brexit.

It comes as the government says it will close its Department for Exiting the European Union on January 31.

Reacting to the government’s plans in the Queen’s Speech, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said many of the promises mimicked the “language of Labour policy but without the substance”.

“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, even when it’s a very pale imitation, but I fear those swayed by the prime minister’s promises will be sorely disappointed.”

And SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford accused the Prime Minister (PM) of “denying [Scotland] the right to choose our own future” referring to the SNP’s desire for another referendum on Scottish independence.

“Why did democracy stop in the prime minister’s world with the independence referendum in 2014?” he asked.

But Boris Johnson said he felt a “colossal sense of obligation” to the voters.

He told Members of Parliament (MPs) that “a new golden age for this United Kingdom is now within reach”, adding that the government would “work flat out to deliver it”.

Addressing Parliament for the second time in less than three months, the Queen said the priority for her government was to deliver Brexit on January 31, but ministers also had an “ambitious programme of domestic reform that delivers on the people’s priorities”.

The seven bills announced that were devoted to Brexit cover legislation on trade, agriculture, fisheries, immigration, financial services and private international law.

The first to be put to Parliament will be the Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the legislation that enables the UK to leave the EU – on Friday before the Christmas recess.

Following last week’s general election, the prime minister has a Commons majority of 80 – the largest enjoyed by a Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher in 1987.

The prime minister’s increased parliamentary authority and command of his party means it is likely to pass without major changes in the New Year in time to meet the January 31 deadline. -BBC

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