the solemn and surrealist speech of the queen

All the pomp of the British parliamentary monarchy was at the rendezvous, Monday, October 14, for this moment of the national democratic life: the "speech of the queen". Elizabeth II inaugurated a new parliamentary session – the previous one lasted two years, and ended early in October – by reading the Johnson government's program from the House of Lords in Westminster.

The "Speech" lasted less than ten minutes, listing a catalog of twenty-six future laws, ranging from tougher migration rules to strengthening prison sentences and improving the public health system.

The moment was certainly solemn but totally surreal, this list of measures being partly conditioned on a hypothetical divorce from the European Union (EU) for Halloween and the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, having no more majority to hope to make adopt no text in the House of Commons.

In 2017, during the previous speech, Elisabeth II wore a blue ensemble and a hat with yellow flowers: the commentators were quick to see it as a nod to European values. This year, the 93-year-old Queen wore an immaculate ceremonial dress, with no intentional (or fortuitous) reference to the starry flag. And it is with this definitive sentence that she began her "Speech" :

"My government's priority has always been to secure the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU on 31 October. "

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New rules

The imperial crown placed on a cushion on her right (she weighs a kilogram and is heavy), the Prince of Wales seated on his left, the Sovereign announced in a dull and monotonous voice seven bills directly related to the Withdrawal agreement, the withdrawal agreement, still not finalized between London and Brussels. These are new rules concerning agriculture, fishing, trade, but also migration.

"An immigration law will end the freedom of movement, and lay the foundation for a more just, modern and global immigration system," added the queen, still on behalf of the British government. However, "My Government remains committed to ensuring that every European resident who has built his life and brought so much to the United Kingdom has the right to stay".

Interior Minister Priti Patel, who is on the far right of the Conservatives, has been working for several weeks on a text inspired by the Australian system, designed to attract "high potential" and limit the arrival of low-income workers in the United Kingdom. .

This "Speech" should be sitting in the House of Commons for the entire week ahead. The debates promise to be intense, even if the Labor could take over some of the proposals of the Conservative government, including those related to the environment and the long-term investment plan in the NHS, the British public health system .

The opposition offensive began, while the Queen had barely left Westminster. " This speech is a costly and absurd distraction, Joanna Cherry, member of the pro-independence party SNP, fiercely opposed the Brexit.

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Negative vote?

It is even likely that the "Speech" will result in a negative vote in Westminster. For the first time … in 95 years. Such a sanction, if it is confirmed, should logically result in a resignation of the Prime Minister, the approval of the speech of the Queen being considered as "A test of the government's ability to have the confidence of Parliament"recalls the think tank Institute for Government.

But since Brexit, normality is no longer the rule at Westminster, and Boris Johnson is very unlikely to be dismissed. It takes two-thirds of the votes in the House of Commons to win a vote of no confidence, and for the moment, Labor refuses to launch the offensive, for fear of being squeezed in the general elections that would follow.

But the most important day in Westminster will be Saturday, October 19th. MEPs are expected to sit for part of the weekend, for the first time since the Falklands war, to decide on the outcome of the European Council on 17 and 18 October. It will be a question of approving a divorce agreement, if Boris Johnson finally brings one from Brussels. Or, if not, to enjoin it to obey the "Benn Act", the text that obliges it, that day, in the absence of a European agreement, to demand a shift from Brexit to the Twenty- Seven

Elected officials could also try to force the destiny of the country by conditioning the approval of the agreement to a second referendum … "Mega Brexit day" already announce the commentators.

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