LONDON (AP) – On Tuesday, the UK Parliament opens a new session that lasts a year from a mix of royal pomp and rude politics as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to restore energy to his scandal-ridden administration and address the deteriorating value of Britain. life crisis.
The Conservative government of Johnson will outline the laws it plans to pass next year at the traditional opening of the state parliament. The ceremony will take place without 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, who refused the ceremony due to mobility problems.
Instead, her son and heir, Prince Charles, reads a speech by the Queen, written by the government but traditionally read by the monarch. Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, will also attend.
The Queen missed only two previous state discoveries during her 70-year reign, in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with sons Andrew and Edward respectively.
The speech will contain 38 pieces of legislation, including bills on education, animal protection and “enhancing” economic opportunities for poor regions.
The speech will promise to reduce red tape for business and review regulation after the UK leaves the European Union. It could also contain measures to change trade agreements for Northern Ireland after Brexit agreed with the EU, which would worsen already strained relations between the UK and the bloc.
There will also be a new law banning destructive protest tactics that favor groups like Extinction Rebellion. Civil liberties organizations are concerned that the government also plans to continue to actively discuss plans to change British human rights law after Brexit.
Johnson said the measures outlined in the speech “put our country back on track” and continue “our mission to create high wages and high-skilled jobs that will stimulate economic growth throughout our United Kingdom.”
But it is likely that there will be no major new measures to eliminate growing food and electricity bills. Inflation in the UK has reached 7%, and domestic energy prices have risen even higher as the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against energy-rich Russia have exacerbated economic disruptions from Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has given most households a tax refund of £ 150 ($ 185), but has rejected calls by the opposition to introduce an unexpected income tax on major energy companies, saying it could prevent them from investing in renewable energy projects in the UK.
Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said on Monday that he knew the cost of living was a “thing № 1” in people’s minds.
“Of course I understand,” he said. “And what I’m trying to do is make sure we’re implementing policies that support families to help navigate the next few months, which we know will be challenging.”
The ceremony came days after Johnson’s Conservatives suffered in local elections across the UK, losing hundreds of seats in city and regional councils to opposition parties.
Johnson’s personal popularity has suffered from months of headlines about parties in his office and other government buildings that violated coronavirus restrictions. Johnson was fined £ 50 ($ 62) by police for attending his own birthday party in June 2020, when blocking rules banned public gatherings.
Johnson has apologized but denies knowingly breaking the rules. He faces the possibility of higher fines than other parties, a parliamentary inquiry into whether he misled lawmakers about his behavior, and a possible vote of no confidence by his own lawmakers.
The Conservatives responded by claiming that opposition leader, Labor leader Keir Starmer, also broke the rules when he served curry and beer last year with company workers in the legislature’s office. After days of headlines about the story in conservative newspapers, police said they would investigate.
Starmer insists the meal was part of the workday and did not break any rules, but says he will resign if fined by police.
The inauguration ceremony itself is a spectacular competition imbued with two sides of Britain’s constitutional monarchy: the royal pomp and political power. Traditionally, the monarch – or in this case the heir to the throne – travels from Buckingham Palace to Parliament in a horse-drawn carriage and reads a speech to lawmakers gathered from the Golden Throne, in a crown studded with 3,000 diamonds.
The ceremony takes place in the House of Lords, the unelected upper house of parliament because the monarch has no right to enter the House of Commons. Ever since King Charles I tried to arrest members of the House of Commons in 1642 and was eventually overthrown, convicted and beheaded, the monarch has been barred from entering the House of Commons.
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