Theresa May could put off Queen’s speech amid Brexit turmoil

The Queen

Theresa May could put off the Queen’s speech until later this year, with government sources saying there were no immediate plans to bring one forward while parliament had not yet approved a Brexit deal.

May had been widely expected to schedule a Queen’s speech setting out the government’s legislative agenda within weeks, because she announced a two-year parliamentary session in mid-June 2017.

However, some within the government believe May is prepared to ignore demands for a programme of new laws, even though parliament has run out of business to discuss apart from Brexit legislation, which is currently stalled.

A Downing Street source said it would not be fair to say the Queen’s Speech was being delayed, because no official date had been set for one. “There’s no obligation to have one at a fixed point and there’s no immediate plans to bring forward a Queen’s speech,” the source said.

There is usually one Queen’s speech each year, and it has taken place in May or June in recent years, but Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, announced a two-year session after the last election in order to “build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans”.

There are several reasons why May might shy away from a Queen’s speech, but the most pressing is that she may not have the votes to get it through parliament given the opposition to her Brexit deal among hardline Tory Eurosceptics,…

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