03:50 GMT +308 December 2019
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    In this file photo taken on January 23, 2019 an anti-Brexit activist waves a Union and a European Union flag as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in central London

    Government Priority is to Secure Brexit From the EU on 31 October - Queen

    © AFP 2019 / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS
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    The British monarch is delivering her speech after a prorogation that was requested by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to lead the country out of the bloc under any circumstances – including a no-deal scenario.

    "My government's priority has always been to secure the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union on October 31", Elizabeth II stated, commenting on the ongoing negotiations in Brussels. "My government intends to work towards a new partnership with the European Union, based on free trade and friendly cooperation".

    The prime minister also noted in his statement accompanying the speech that Brexit should be delivered as soon as possible.

    "People are tired of stasis, gridlock and waiting for change. And they don't want to wait any longer to get Brexit done", he said.

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson during an audience at Buckingham Palace, London, Wednesday July 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government
    © REUTERS / Victoria Jones
    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson during an audience at Buckingham Palace, London, Wednesday July 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government

    Johnson has previously vowed to complete the divorce process with or without an agreement, but MPs adopted a law requiring him to negotiate with Brussels. The head of government said he wants to strike an exit deal at an EU summit on Thursday and Friday, but stressed that if an accord is not possible, then he would deliver Brexit despite the decision of Parliament to prevent a no-deal scenario.

    Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously criticised the decision to involve the Queen in the debate, claiming that the monarch has been used in order to support the aims of the Conservative cabinet.

    "Today was not the first time that Queen's Speech has been used as part of a general election campaign, but it is perhaps the most obvious example of a government unveiling policy proposals in the hope of attracting votes rather than passing laws. The feeling of unreality is increased by the fact that the proposals will seem very fanciful if the government fails to secure a satisfactory deal on leaving the European Union", says Mark Garnett, a politics professor at Lancaster University and author of the book "From Anger to Apathy: The British Experience".

    According to Garnett, the Queen's speech became a "challenge" to Corbyn's Labour Party, "in particular, since it has also pledged itself to increased public spending and will now have to explain why voters should prefer its own policy proposals. So although it is a pretty obvious gamble by the government, it is not certain to fail".

    The United Kingdom is slated to leave the bloc at the end of this month, although the deadline has been shifted before, as London was initially supposed to deliver Brexit in March.

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    Tags:
    Brexit deal, Brexit talks, Brexit, European Union, United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II
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