Queen Elizabeth sets out PM Johnson's Oct. 31 Brexit priority

Queen Elizabeth sets out PM Johnson's Oct. 31 Brexit priority

The Queen's Speech on Monday was the first of Mr Johnson's premiership.

Varadkar said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told him at a meeting last week that he was confident he could get a Brexit deal through the British parliament.

"Even if an agreement has been hard, more and more hard, it's still possible this week", Barnier told reporters on arriving to the Luxembourg meeting on Tuesday.

The Queen's Speech is an official event that requires MPs to vote on its subject matter following a debate. "And they don't want to wait any longer to get Brexit done", he said.

"The Government's position is clear, the Prime Minister has repeatedly said we will leave by the end of the month".

European Union ministers gather in Luxembourg for the last preparatory meeting before the Thursday-Friday summit of the bloc's national leaders takes place in Brussels just a fortnight before Britain is due to leave.

The discussions centered on future border arrangements between European Union member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K. Johnson has put forward a complex proposal to eliminate the need for customs checks, but European Union officials say more work is needed.

With the Prime Minister pushing for a snap general election the legislative programme presented at the State Opening of Parliament is being seen as a bid by Mr Johnson to set out his campaign agenda.

Even if Boris Johnson was to strike an agreement by the end of the week he has to take it to the UK Parliament, which he no longer controls.

Boris Johnson, who has yet to win a vote in the House of Commons as Prime Minister, has to get the support of nearly all the 28 Conservative MPs who voted against Theresa May's agreement if he manages to bring an agreement back from the European Union, together with support from the DUP.

The government's plans included an outline of Johnson's proposed post-Brexit immigration system, criminal justice reforms, healthcare changes, and a promise to invest more from the public purse to stimulate growth.

Joanna Cherry of the Scottish National Party, who has been a prominent opponent of Brexit, was similarly blunt, calling it "an election manifesto for the Conservative Party, which will nearly certainly be rejected in Scotland".

The speech is part of the State Opening of Parliament, a ceremony steeped in centuries-old symbolism of the power struggle between Parliament and the British monarchy.

Mr. Johnson was summoned from the House of Commons by the Lady Usher of the Black Rod, who first had the door slammed in her face as a sign of its members' contempt for the House of Lords.

And then there is next week's vote on the Queen's Speech that has the potential to bring down the Government if Mr Johnson, now bereft of any Commons majority, is defeated. That would heap even more pressure on Johnson's embattled administration.

When the vote in the House of Commons takes place will depend on how swiftly the debate passes and whether a rare Saturday sitting of Parliament is held at the weekend.

The clash comes as Brexit negotiations are set to continue on a final day of efforts to get a deal ready for a crucial European Union summit, after Tuesday's talks ran into the small hours of the morning.

Johnson dismissed criticism of his Queen's speech, saying it was a program for "an open, global, free-trading United Kingdom".

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday that his party was unlikely to support any deal agreed upon by Johnson.

If there is no Brexit deal, lawmakers will try to make sure Johnson's government seeks to delay Brexit rather than crashing out without an agreement on October 31.

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