Queen's Speech: Boris Johnson unshackles Brexit Britain from grips of Covid with billions to level up
BORIS Johnson today vowed to unshackle Brexit Britain from the grips of Covid with a bonfire of Brussels red tape – and billions in extra funding to level up the country.
Vowing things can never be the same again after the pandemic, the PM revealed his fresh policy blitzkrieg today as Her Majesty the Queen gave her historic speech to open Parliament.
This morning he vowed his plans will "harness the ingenuity and resolve" of Britain's barnstorming vaccine roll-out to heal other ills such the housing crisis, regional inequality and educational unfairness.
Boris inisisted: "As the UK gets back on its feet, we will turbo charge our economic recover in every part of the country, increasing and spreading opportunity.
And he claims "we will make the most of our new found Brexit freedoms" to do so, vowing: "our mission must be to build back better than before".
Mr Johnson says the Covid response has revealed "deep wells of talent, kindness, ingenuity and resourcefulness exists in every village, town and city" and its now his job to harness that to fix Britain and deliver "a brighter future".
He vows: "the Government's task is to mobilise that extraordinary spirit, matching talent with opportunity and unleashing our nation's full potential."
Today he promised to build back fairer, stronger, greener and safer
NOT OVER YET
But he insisted that "beating Covid remains our number one priority" and the nation must realise that "the global pandemic is not over".
He warned there is a "real risk of dangerous new variants of the virus" and vowed to press on with the vaccine programme and plans for a booster programme in the autumn.
But hidden baddies in the blitz could see the cost of a fry up soar and takeaways crippled by daft ban from advertising chips.
And social care plans were mysteriouslystill missing from today's Speech – only vowing to introduce them by the end of the year, despite years of promises.
Other plans today also confirmed:
- A new online harms bill to keep kids safe online and slam Facebook and Google if they break the rules
- Extra cash for the army
- Fresh plans for a post-Covid crackdown on obesity
- Extra help to buy homes with a planning bill to rip up red tape and ground rents to be banned for new homes
- Lifetime deposits for renters moving home
- Protecting animals' feelings in law – with proposals to force cats to get microchipped and new legislation to meet eco goals
- Ripping up the Fixed Term Parliaments Act so the PM of the day can call an election when they want
- Fresh plans for voters to take ID to the polls in future
- Levelling up and extra skills for the North – with new plans for lifetime loans
- A new NHS bill to reform and update the health system
- Immigration laws to stop people crossing the channel in small boats
- New measures to crack down on foreign spies
Delivering the PM's agenda to Parliament in her first official ceremony since Prince Philip's funeral, the Queen, 95, appeared for a pared down service with less of the pomp and ceremony.
Her Majesty appeared alongside the Prince of Wales for the service, as she previously did in 2019.
Instead of the usual fancy robes, the Queen wore her regular formal wear and fewer people will attend the ceremony due to Covid rules.
Everyone had to have a negative Covid test and wore masks.
Social media giants that fail to remove harmful posts will face BILLIONS in fines under tough new laws.
Ministers will crack down on firms like Facebook and Google to make the UK "the safest place in the world to be online" – but have stopped short of threatening jail for offending bosses.
Her Majesty said: "My Government will lead the way in ensuring internet safety for all, especially for children, whilst harnessing the benefits of a free, open and secure internet."
The Bill hands the watchdog Ofcom powers to fine Silicon Valley titans up to £18 million or 10 per cent of their turnover – whichever is more.
TO THE POLLS
Boris Johnson will be able to wrongfoot Sir Keir Starmer with a snap General Election after axing rigid parliamentary term times.
The PM today committed to ripping up the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) that sets in stone Polling Day every five years.
It means he can go to the country when thrashing Labour in the polls to maximise his chances of victory.
The government now plans to replace it through the Planning Bill with reforms that have been brought forward.
The aim is to simplify planning for housing, making sure that homes and infrastructure can be delivered more quickly across England.
The Planning Bill aims to significantly cut the time it takes for developments to go through the planning system – currently around five years.
The government also aims to change local plans so they provide more certainty over the type and design of development permitted.
Pets are to have their feelings protected by a new law, announced today in the Queen's Speech.
The Animal Sentience Bill will give animals "with a backbone" the "right" feel happiness, as well as suffering and pain.
Part of the Queen's Speech today was dedicated to fighting weight-gain and making Britain healthier.
Ministers announced a huge push to improve the overall health of Brits in the wake of Covid – with the aim to prevent problems before they emerge.
One in six adults and more than one in three kids aged ten to 11 are overweight – with obesity a large risk factor in fighting the virus.
Today the Government outlined a game-plan to tackle the growing problem.
The Queen said as she opened Parliament this morning: "Measures will be brought forward to support the health and wellbeing of the nation, including to tackle obesity and improve mental health."
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