As Brexit day looms, Queen reiterates Britain's commitment to leave EU


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".

She added: "To me it's obvious that we shouldn't be talking about some interesting but unworkable pieces of legislation, in all honesty what we should be talking about here and what should be on the front page of the Queen's Speech is a confirmatory referendum so that we can find a way of bringing all this to an end". She entered the House of Lords, along with the diamond-studded imperial crown, which sat on its own velvet pillow.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing an October 31 Brexit deadline. But if he returns from the European Union summit with no deal, or a deal is not approved by parliament and MPs do not agree to a no-deal exit - then under the Benn Act the prime minister must write to the European Union asking for another Brexit delay of three months.

Unsurprisingly, Johnson's political opponents were dismissive of the speech.

Meanwhile, the Government has rejected comments from the Finnish prime minister that "more time" is needed to negotiate a Brexit 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.

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Johnson's spokesman, James Slack, said "the talks remain constructive but there is still a lot of work to do".

"There's still a lot of work to do, so I hope we can make more progress today", Coveney said as he arrived at a meeting with his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg.

An EU diplomat familiar with the talks said there would likely need to be a three-month extension to Brexit to turn the proposals into a legally binding deal. "There is momentum but there is still little movement".

Irish deputy premier Simon Coveney called for caution yesterday in Luxembourg, saying that "we're not there yet" - but added that "a deal is possible". May be possible this week.

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.

Ms Rees, MP for Neath, said: "No one should be fooled by Johnson's sham Queen's Speech".

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The pageantry of the Queen's Speech began at 10 a.m., when the Yeomen of the Guard, the royal bodyguards known as "Beefeaters", searched the cellars of Parliament.

"Having a Queen's Speech and a State Opening of Parliament is ludicrous", he told Sky News. Lawmakers are summoned to listen to the queen by a security official named Black Rod - but only comply after slamming the House of Commons door in the official's face to symbolize the chamber's independence from the monarch.

In a moment full of pomp and ceremony, the Queen outlined Mr Johnson's agenda in the House of Lords in her traditional speech on Monday, which had not happened for two years.

The last Queen's speech, in 2017, pledged action on mental health care and social care. That would heap even more pressure on Johnson's embattled administration.

For Johnson there is a question about which is the bigger humiliation - either belatedly signing up for a backstop-bridge to his preferred arrangements for keeping open the border on the island of Ireland or a Brexit delay that might not deliver the deal he wants and would most definitely breach his only red line anyone remembers (namely do-or-die Brexit on 31 October).

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