Parliament Session Extended To Help Push Brexit Legislation

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Prime Theresa May has promised to work with "humility and resolve" in delivering her agenda. But the government will double the length of the session to let MPs debate Britain's approach to Brexit without interruption.

"Downing Street is a vacuum", the newspaper said.

The last time the Queen's Speech was similarly pared down was in 1974, when Harold Wilson defeated Ted Heath in another snap election created to give the Conservatives a larger mandate in Westminster.

This year's Queen's Speech was due on Monday but has been put off until Wednesday as Theresa May's minority government seeks a deal with the DUP.

A formal deal has yet to be secured but Tory sources have said there is a "broad agreement" on the principles of the speech, and State Opening will now take place on Wednesday June 21 - two days later than originally scheduled. Even an abstention by the DUP's 10 MPs would be enough to guarantee Mrs May's survival.

A parliamentary session usually runs for a year, from spring to spring.

"This Queen's Speech is about recognising and grasping the opportunities that lie ahead for the United Kingdom as we leave the EU", May said.

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In an apparent sign of recognition that she must seek a broad consensus for any Brexit deal, Mrs May said getting European Union withdrawal right will mean securing "a deal which delivers the result of last year's referendum and does so in a way that commands maximum public support".

But the decision is also a tacit admission of some of the parliamentary battles ahead: ditching the Queen's Speech for 2018 means the Government will avoid having to push through another vote on its legislative programme at the height of Brexit negotiations - and possibly tensions.

Other amendments are reportedly linked to Brexit, calling for easier access to the European single market and a commission with opposition parties and civil society figures to discuss Brexit strategy.

It is understood the Government is not expecting a deal to be reached until next week, although a spokesman told Sky News only that negotiations are continuing.

The Queen's Speech was also dropped in 2011 under David Cameron's then-coalition government.

For all the pomp, ceremony and post-election confusion, this Queen's Speech marks a shift in the balance of power on Brexit, in favour of an open economy and against isolationism.

In a mark of the importance of Brexit to Mrs May's agenda, the Queen will set out plans not for the usual one year, but for a two-year period taking the Government beyond the expected withdrawal date in March 2019.