Jeremy Corbyn grimace caught on camera ahead of Queen’s Speech


Addressing the estimated 3.4 million Europeans now living in Britain, the monarch said the government was committed that they "have the right to remain".

"We may only be just weeks away from the first Queen's Speech of a Labour government".

But the spectacle, complete with horse-drawn coaches, lords in scarlet robes and a diamond-studded crown, did provide a diversion from the long Brexit grind.

Intensified discussions have been taking place amid reports that compromises are afoot over a replacement to the Irish backstop, which the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to ditch from the original withdrawal agreement.

The text - written by the government and read to parliament by the Queen - outlined 26 pieces of legislation ministers are hoping to push through in the months ahead.

Brexit negotiations have intensified over recent days after the British and Irish leaders said they could see a "pathway" to a deal.

Ireland said a Brexit deal may be possible in the coming days, after technical teams from Britain and the European Union worked through the weekend, although both sides said significant gaps remain between their positions. The government will review how the trains work, with a pledge to simplify ticket structures and a new industry structure, Johnson's office said in a briefing.

Heckled that he had not voted for an election when Johnson tried to call him a second time, he said it was essential for Johnson to "get an extension ... take us away from the dangers of no deal, then we "re in a position to do that". "There is momentum but there is still little movement". May be possible this week.

"My government's priority has always been to secure the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union on 31 October", Queen Elizabeth told Parliament.

It also contained plans for post-Brexit reforms to agriculture, fishing and immigration that will include the ending in 2021 the automatic right of European Union citizens to live and work in Britain.

A series of other bills outlined by the Queen had either already been before parliament or had been discussed in depth, for example on domestic abuse, no-fault divorce, a measure to oblige restaurants and other businesses to pass on all tips to staff, and tougher regulations on fire safety in high-rise buildings in response to the Grenfell disaster.

Despite being accused of electioneering by opposition leaders Boris Johnson used the speech, described as a "farce" by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, to introduce a raft of anti-crime, immigration and environmental Bills.

"The Queen's Speech was an election broadcast for the Tory Party more than anything else", tweeted Scottish National Party leader in Parliament Ian Blackford.

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

Electoral programme? The Queen's Speech to formally reopen the new parliamentary session was the first since June 2017 and was delivered in the upper chamber before ermine and red-robed peers, and their counterparts from the lower chamber, the House of Commons.

The prime minister's official spokesman rejected the idea that a defeat on the Queen's Speech would show no confidence in the government and thus could pave the way for an early general election. That is even more the case today.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson's majority having been eroded by expulsions from the Conservative Party, there is a realistic likelihood that, when MPs debate the contents of the speech later in the day, for the first time in nearly a century they could reject it.