The state opening of Parliament on Wednesday following the 8 June general election had Brexit at its heart. However, it was the Queen’s choice of hat for that captured the attention of many pro-remainers on social media as they felt the blue number, adorned with small yellow flowers, which was worn instead of the usual crown, was a subliminal message from the 91-year-old monarch over her stance on Brexit.
The eight bills related to Brexit in the speech included the Repeal Bill, which has had the word ‘Great’ removed and whose objective is to convert existing EU law into UK law. Other bills relate to customs, trade, immigration, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards and international sanctions. Under the immigration bill, the government sets out to “end the free movement of EU nationals into the UK” but allows them to “attract the brightest and best”.
Other controversial areas of the Conservative party election manifesto that were omitted from Wednesday’s speech included a free vote on fox hunting and a social care act, which became widely known as the “dementia tax”. The 15-year voting rule for overseas UK voters, which David Cameron promised to scrap in 2010, has not been mentioned by Theresa May’s government.
There were protests in London, despite the heat, under the name, ‘Day of Rage’, during which demonstrators demanded justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, as well as Theresa May’s resignation.