The so-called Queen’s Speech is set to be the main focus Monday, 14 October, in Westminster, and is expected to outline Britian’s elaborate legislative agenda for the upcoming year.
The speech will lay out 22 newly proposed bills including a few stipulating tougher punishment for sex offenders and foreign criminals, as well as those that will better protect victims of domestic abuse.
“Keeping people safe is the most important role of any government, and as the party of law and order it is the Conservatives who are cracking down on crime and better protecting society", a statement from Johnson’s office revealing a couple of details of the speech said.
Last but not least, the speech, traditionally written for the Queen by the government and read out loud in the Parliament’s gilded House of Lords, is expected to include several points on Brexit-centred legislation.
Although it is an indispensable part of a perfectly regular procedure ushering in the State Opening of Parliament, this year’s speech by the 93-year-old monarch has been surrounded by controversy from the very start.
“Having the Queen’s Speech and the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow is ludicrous, utterly ludicrous", leader of the Labour Party and leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn told a Sky News interview broadcast on Sunday. “What we’ve got in effect is a party political broadcast from the steps of the throne".
Several days of debate are to follow the Speech, rounding off with a final formal vote to approve it, which is believed to be handy for Johnson’s political rivals.
Last month, the Speech was already on everybody’s lips as Johnson attempted to suspend Parliament for five weeks due to a Brexit debate dead-end only to be overruled by the Supreme Court.
On top of this, the prime minister, who said he had received royal consent for the prorogation to better prepare for the State Opening of Parliament, was accused of dragging the Queen into the Brexit crunch.
Amid continued Brexit talks both domestically and in the EU, pro-Remain parliamentarians claim that they have gathered sufficient support to push through a second referendum on Brexit. "We believe we are getting closer to the majority it needs", The Guardian cited a source in the Labour Party as saying.
Meanwhile, Johnson is said to have held fruitful meetings with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the contested Irish backstop issue, with the talks preceding crucial EU summits, scheduled for 17 and 18 October.
Whatever the breakthrough, the final deal, if reached by London and Brussels, will need approval from the bloc’s 27 member states. Thus, bearing in mind the United Kingdom has been working towards leaving the EU on 31 October, the deadline to secure a deal is 19 October for it to be okayed by the EU members.
In the event of a no deal, the PM is required to ask the bloc for an extension, which would push the Brexit deadline up to 31 January – something Johnson referred to in his iconic blunt way, arguing he'd prefer to be “dead in a ditch” rather than ask for another delay.