Main points from Britain's Queen's Speech

25th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Here are key points from Tuesday's Queen's Speech, in which Queen Elizabeth II set out the new British government's legislative plans based on values of "freedom, fairness and responsibility."

ECONOMY:

- first priority to accelerate deficit reduction and restore growth.

- reform financial services rules, after global banking crisis.

- invest in high-speed broadband Internet and high-speed rail network.

- promote low-carbon energy production and secure energy supplies.

- cut bureaucracy costs and number of public bodies.

POLITICAL REFORM

- political reform to restore trust in democratic institutions.

- five-year, fixed term parliaments.

- referendum on use of alternative vote system for House of Commons.

- fewer and more equal parliamentary constituencies.

- the right to oust lawmakers guilty of serious wrong-doing.

- a wholly or mainly elected upper House of Lords using proportional representation system.

- reform of political party funding.

FOREIGN/DEFENCE

- legislation to ensure parliament and British people "have their say" on any future transfer of powers to the European Union.

- limit numbers of non-EU migrants entering Britain.

- full strategic defence and security review.

- work with Kabul, Islamabad and others for lasting security in Afghanistan.

- enhanced partnership with India.

- work towards a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

- reducing threat from nuclear weapons proliferation, including concerns posed by Iran.

OTHER

- abolish plans for national identity cards.

- referendum on additional powers for Welsh National Assembly.

- spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on development aid from 2013.

- Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip to visit Canada in June and the United Nations in New York in July.

- Queen Elizabeth to receive Pope Benedict XVI in September.


© 2010 AFP

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