Prince Charles Delivers Queen's Speech Laying Out Planned New Laws

© Ben StansallBritain's Prince Charles sits by the The Imperial State Crown in the House of Lords Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament
Britain's Prince Charles sits by the The Imperial State Crown in the House of Lords Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.05.2022
The official opening of the new session of the British Parliament — typically every spring — is marked with great pomp and ceremony dating back centuries as the monarch sets out the sitting government's legislative agenda.
Prince Charles has stood in for Queen Elizabeth II at the state opening of Parliament, delivering the speech outlining the government's planned new legislation.
The increasingly-frail monarch missed the ceremony for the first time in sixty years, sending her son, daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge and grandson Prince William in her place.
The heir to the throne laid out Prime Minister Boris Johnson's legislative agenda for the next session of Parliament, which typically runs for a year. He announced 38 new bills — many of which may not be passed before the next session begins.
On crime, the government will continue to crack down on people trafficking across the English Channel and North Sea, along with the wave of disruptive protests by environmentalists.
“My ministers will take action to prevent dangerous and illegal Channel crossings and tackle the criminal gangs who profit from facilitating them,” Charles said.
Police will be given new “powers to make the streets safe”, while other legislation will “further strengthen powers to tackle illicit finance, reduce economic crime and help businesses grow”.
"Her Majesty's Government will continue to seize the opportunities of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, to support economic growth. Regulations on businesses will be repealed and reformed," Charles said, with a new Brexit Freedoms Bill that "will enable law inherited from the European Union to be more easily amended".
And a new "British Bill of Rights" will replace the Human Rights Act passed to conform with EU norms.
Claims by Irish republican party Sinn Fein that the government was ready to abandon the Northern Ireland Protocol of the EU withdrawal agreement were also addressed.
“My government will prioritise support for the Belfast Agreement and its institutions, including through legislation to address the legacy of the past,” the crown prince said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.05.2022
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The Procurement Bill will mean "public sector procurement will be simplified to provide new opportunities for small businesses" to tender for government contracts.
The government's long-promised "levelling up" of neglected regions could finally be addressed as well.
"A Bill will be brought forward to drive local growth, empowering local leaders to regenerate their areas, and ensuring everyone can share in the United Kingdom’s success," Charles said, while "The planning system will be reformed to give residents more involvement in local development."
The PM and his opposition arch-enemy Sir Keir Starmer were seen sharing a light-hearted moment when Johnson joked that the embattled Labour leader had enjoyed a "quiet weekend".
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