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Live: Queen's Speech Launches New UK Parliament Session Against Brexit



  Peter Summers / Getty Images
Peter Summers / Getty Images

Welcome to the most important week in modern British political history.

By 11am on Saturday, Britain will finally receive some of the questions it asks after it voted to leave the EU three years ago.

First, we will look at the grand spectacle of the State Opening of Parliament, where Queen Elizabeth II will read Prime Minister Boris Johnson's legislative programs before British legislators.

And yet, for all the pomp and ceremony, celebrating today will be the least important part of a very important few days.

Certainly knowing government plans for the nation is important. However, the most important part of Johnson's plan for the United Kingdom remains completely unresolved.

The Queen is expected to say that her Government's first priority is to make Brexit by adopting the Bill on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement). The problem for Johnson is that part of this bill on the withdrawal agreement does not currently exist in any meaningful way.

Negotiations with EU representatives are in Brussels and Johnson has very little control over where these negotiations end. His hope is that an agreement can be reached on Wednesday before EU leaders meet Thursday to negotiate, meaning Johnson can bring the deal back to London.

There are many ways to travel before Wednesday. And even if Johnson did get a deal from Brussels, getting it through Parliament would not be a walk in the park.

If he fails on all fronts, then he will have to decide whether to break the law or not. Opposition lawmakers have recently passed legislation stating that if a deal is not concluded by 11pm on Saturday night, then Johnson should ask for a further Brexit delay.

It's all mess, and international observers will be forgiven for asking why exactly Johnson is making the Queen read ambitious promises of spending on things like healthcare, fighting crime and pumping money into schools.

Practically everyone in the UK thinks that elections are coming sooner rather than later. So this Queen's speech is not meant to receive MPs; his goal is to advertise Johnson and his government in the country as a whole.

Politics has become something of a game of chess at one of the most critical moments in UK history. Today, Boris Johnson will use the Queen to make her initial move.


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