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Corbyn attacks 'government without a majority' for 'thin gruel' Queen's Speech

22 Juin 2017

Development of the country's transport network was also on the agenda, with the Queen stating that a new bill will be introduced to "deliver the next phase of high-speed rail".

Since talks began with the DUP nearly two weeks ago in the chaos following May's unexpected loss of her majority, the negotiations have followed an uncertain course with conflicting signals about whether a deal would be struck. In remarks in the debate that followed the speech, she acknowledged government failings in helping victims of the London high-rise fire on June 14 that killed at least 79 people.

As for the Brexit talks with the European Union, which kicked off on Monday, the Queen stressed that the government's priority is to ensure the "best possible deal". With humility and resolve, this Government will seek to do the latter. Of 24 bills, eight relate to Brexit and its implications for key industries.

Mr Dodds also welcomed the new government's Queen's Speech.

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A number of Tory manifesto pledges including fox hunting, grammar schools, and the controversial dementia tax were canned.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: "While Brexit isn't the top immediate priority for many businesses, firms of every size and shape want to avoid turbulence and confusion during the Brexit transition".

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But when it was pointed out he was grinning broadly, Donaldson added: "If what we do benefits people across the United Kingdom then, as a unionist party that's something we're proud of".

Asked whether media reports that the DUP demanded £2 billion in spending on Northern Ireland were correct, Donaldson said the figure was "nonsense".

When Elizabeth II rolled up to the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday, she did so without numerous trappings that typically attend the Queen's Speech. May has resisted calls to resign and is hoping for the support of the DUP's 10 MPs to boost her tally of 317 seats in the 650-seat parliament, but a deal has proved elusive so far.

But that deal has yet to be announced, and on Tuesday the DUP said the talks were not going as was expected. They joined other demonstrators in what they called a "day of rage" to protest perceived government inaction and neglect. This year saw a scaled-back State opening of Parliament Ceremony with the Queen arriving by auto rather than carriage and not wearing the Imperial State Crown or the Robes of State. Both ceremonies take weeks of preparation and planning, and it was deemed too hard to prepare for two such events so close together.

Given that the speech was postponed from Monday to Wednesday because of the coalition talks, it was impossible to prepare a large-scale ceremony.

But First Secretary of State Damian Green acknowledged that it may not be possible to reach a deal in time for the Commons vote on the Queen's Speech package on June 29. But opposition parties have said it is a way for the government to avoid being voted down in a Queen's Speech next year, when talks in Brussels are expected to get tougher ahead of Britain's expected European Union exit in March 2019.

Corbyn attacks 'government without a majority' for 'thin gruel' Queen's Speech