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Theresa May cancels the 2018 State Opening of Parliament

20 Juin 2017

LONDON (AP) — The British government plans to have the next Parliament hold a two-year session to deal with the expected onslaught of Brexit-related legislation.

Critics have pointed out cancelling next year's Queen's speech will also take away an opportunity for opposition MPs to vote against the government's programme - successfully doing so would topple the government and possibly precipitate another election.

House of Common leader Andrea Leadsom said Parliament will need "the maximum amount of time to scrutinize these bills" by holding a two-year session.

In a highly unusual move, Theresa May was forced to push back the speech to Wednesday 21 June amid Tory disarray as they entered talks with Northern Ireland's DUP to gain their support for a minority Government.

The leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, said this would give MPs the maximum time possible to scrutinise legislation taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union, which means the government will not put forward a new legislative programme next year.

Extending the new parliamentary session will allow MPs and peers to examine Brexit laws as well as domestic reforms in depth, according to the Government.

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The last time it was cancelled was in 2011 by the then Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.

The first session of Parliament will begin two days after negotiations over Britain's withdrawal from the European Union begin in Brussels.

Labour accused the Government at the time of an "abuse of power" and said it was aimed exclusively at easing the passage of controversial legislation.

However, it is understood that the 91-year-old Monarch will rush to the racecourse straight after she has delivered the speech which is prepared by the government, missing only the first couple of races.

Among those laws is the Great Repeal Bill, which aims to scrap the European Communities Act from 1972 that officially took Britain into the EU and transfer EU law onto the U.K.'s statute books. "It will mean we can work together to deliver a successful Brexit deal and a strong social legislative programme that delivers justice and opportunity for all".

Downing Street also said that it will confirm "the legislation required to deliver Brexit" next week, including fresh laws on immigration.