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  • Debate on the Queen's Speech in the House of Commons Chamber, in London.

    Debate on the Queen's Speech in the House of Commons Chamber, in London. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 December 2019
Opinion

“We will release the country from the stranglehold of indecision, restoring confidence to people and businesses," the PM promised.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed Thursday the agenda of his new government, presenting the Brexit as well as future trade deals as top priorities and pledging to transform Britain and repay the trust of voters who handed him a landslide election victory and a very large majority in Parliament.

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A week after the election, the Queen’s Speech --written by the government but read out by the monarch-- laid out details of Johnson’s plans for the country through dozens of bills that the conservative government plans to pass in the coming year. 

The prime minister who claims that far-reaching reforms are needed for Britain, pledged "radical changes" including to boost funding for the state health service, to end years of public spending austerity, and to “get Brexit done,” confirming he would lead Britain out of the European Union on Jan. 31.

Regarding this last point, the premier said he would not allow any more “dither and delay”, ruling out any extension beyond 2020 to the transition period to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU, and suggesting he would hold trade talks with other countries at the same time.

“Our first task is to get Brexit done and we will leave the EU at the end of January,” Johnson said in the foreword to the Queen’s Speech, when Queen Elizabeth sets out a government’s program at the beginning of a new parliament.

“We will release the country from the stranglehold of indecision, restoring confidence to people and businesses. We will avoid the trap of further dither and delay - by ruling out any extension to the implementation period beyond 2020.”

On Friday, he plans to begin the process of passing legislation needed to ratify Britain’s EU exit on Jan. 31, after which date the government department specially created to supervise Brexit will be closed.

Responding to the speech, opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn said it contained “nothing of substance” on a range of issues from the NHS to tackling climate change, social care, early years and universities.

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