The recovery from the pandemic and achieving “a fairer immigration system” in the United Kingdom are two issues that focused on Tuesday the so-called Queen’s Speech, which details, by the hand of Elizabeth II, the priorities of the British Executive.
In a traditional ceremony, very marked this year by the current restrictions due to COVID-19, the Head of State inaugurated the new legislative course, reading from the throne of the House of Lords the program drawn up by the Conservative British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, which must be debated and voted on by the House of Commons.
CHANGES FROM PREVIOUS CEREMONIES
It was the first major official public engagement that the monarch carried out after the recent death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 at the age of 99. The sovereign, however, continued since then, and after serving two weeks of mourning, performing other lower-profile functions telematically.
In addition to the masks and the well-known social distance that the virus forces, there were some changes in the way today’s event took place compared to previous years.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech from the Sovereign’s Throne in the socially estranged chamber of the House of Lords during the Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is carried out with reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II fulfills her ceremonial duty of briefing parliament on the government’s agenda for the coming year in a speech by the queen.
In clothing, the queen chose to wear a discreet mauve gown with matching hat instead of the pompous long white gown on other occasions.
Elizabeth II, whom her eldest son, Charles of England, escorted by the arm to the throne, Nor did he go to Parliament in the traditional royal carriage, he did so by car, nor did he wear the huge and striking Imperial Crown.
To attend the ceremony, in addition, all the people present had to undergo a PCR test to detect the presence of coronavirus.
THE EXECUTIVE PRIORITIES
When reading the speech, Elizabeth II indicated that the “Government priority is to carry out a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the UK stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.”
“My Government will equalize opportunities everywhere in the UK, supporting jobs, business and economic growth, and address the impact of the pandemic on public services”, he said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street for the state opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster, where a reduced ceremony due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions will take place, in London, Great Britain, May 11, 2021.
The Tory Executive “will protect the health of the nation, continuing the vaccination program against covid-19 and providing additional funding to support the NHS, the British public health service”, according to the text.
The intention to carry out “proposals on social care”, although no specific legislation in this regard was announced.
PLANS FOR IMMIGRATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The Government advanced its proposals to address violence against women and girls and support victims and, in another matter of interest, revealed its plans to “establish a fairer immigration system that strengthens UK borders and deter criminals who facilitate dangerous and illegal travel”.
The aforementioned speech was shorter than usual, and the shortest since 2016, according to the British media: 8 minutes and 52 seconds long, during which a draft for a new bill on network security was announced.
With it, the queen pointed out, the Executive “will lead the way on internet security for everyone, especially children, while reinforcing the benefits for a free, open and secure internet.”
Government invest in new green industries to generate jobs, according to this text of priorities, among which the government commitment to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is reiterated.
Among other projects, there was also that of “invest and improve national infrastructures”, as well as carry out proposals to transform connectivity in the rail and bus network with a bill on high-speed trains.
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