Queen returns to public stage with UK govt’s new agenda
UK sets out plans to crack down on spying by foreign states
LONDON, May 11: Queen Elizabeth II outlined her government's post-pandemic legislative agenda as she opened a new session of the UK parliament on Tuesday, in her first public appearance since the funeral of her late husband Prince Philip.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, buoyant after his Conservative party's triumph in local and regional elections in England last week, is vowing to deliver on his mantra to "build back better" with a wide-ranging raft of policies.
But he faces renewed questions over the UK's cohesion after pro-independence forces won a majority in elections to the Scottish parliament, with pledges to hold another referendum on breaking away from the centuries-old union.
Johnson's government, after rolling out a successful coronavirus vaccination drive, is intent on reopening the economy and "levelling up" prosperity across Britain following its Brexit withdrawal from the European Union.
"My government's priority is to deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before," the 95-year-old monarch said in a speech from a gilded throne in the upper House of Lords.
Meanwhile, Britain set out plans to crack down on hostile activity by foreign states on Tuesday, introducing a proposed law to give security services and law enforcement new powers to tackle growing threats.
The bill will haul legislation into the modern age, updating archaic official secrets acts, some dating back more than hundred years, so that they are relevant to the threats posed in the age of cyber warfare, the government said. -REUTERS