November 2019: News from your local MP
The Queen’s Speech, outlining the Government’s forthcoming business and laws that it wants Parliament to approve, forms part of the State Opening of Parliament ceremony and the official beginning of the Parliamentary year. The ceremony has existed in its current form since 1852 but the tradition can be traced back to the 16th century.
At the start of the procession, the Queen travels from Buckingham Palace to Westminster by carriage and is taken to the robing room to dress for her speech, which takes place in the House of Lords and is attended by Members of Parliament who have been summoned by Black Rod. The Imperial Crown, which symbolises the sovereignty of the monarch, was placed on a cushion this time and carried ahead of Her Majesty, who wore a diamond diadem which undoubtedly weighed far less.
Last month’s Queen’s Speech, which is the first one to take place in two years, outlined the Prime Minister’s bold policies on health, crime, the environment and of course Brexit, which were among 26 bills read out. With the Brexit deadline looming it was vital that Boris Johnson focused on important policy areas like education, the NHS and care for the elderly, which will benefit from further investment.
The Speech was followed by debates in the Commons. A week later, Members of Parliament convened for the first time on a Saturday since the Falklands Conflict in 1981. The only other occasions have been the outbreak of World War II, the Suez Crisis and 30th July 1949, which was the last sitting of the summer.
The Prime Minister assembled MPs in the Chamber to debate his new Brexit deal, which has been agreed to by the European Union (EU) after many hours of negotiations and an enormous amount of work undertaken by Ministers and civil servants.
To fulfil the Benn Act, MPs needed to agree to this deal, vote for ‘no deal’ before Saturday October 19 or ask for an extension to Article 50. The motion tabled by former Conservative MP, Sir Oliver Letwin, which would withhold approval for the deal until legislation implementing it has been passed, gained a majority of 16, thus thwarting the remainder of the proceedings.
The arrogance that has permeated Parliament will not be forgotten for many years. For Remainer MPs who have never accepted the referendum result, their campaign ceased to be about the national interest many months ago. It has now become a game of tit for tat being played by a small collective pushing its anti-democratic agenda, stymying our departure and Britain’s progress. Boris Johnson has done everything within his power to deliver Brexit on time and if he must call an election to implement a law passed by Parliament binding us to leave the EU, the electorate will respond by removing all those who have failed them.