Queen's Speech to take place before EU vote, government confirms

Government will set out legislative agenda two weeks after local elections, Chris Grayling announces

By Civil Service World

10 Mar 2016

The government will set out its legislative agenda ahead of the EU referendum, it has been confirmed, after speculation that the Queen's Speech would be delayed to allow a focus on the campaign.

It was reported last week that ministers had been informed that the State Opening of Parliament – which kicks off a new parliamentary session with the government-drafted speech written by the Queen – would be pushed back until after the EU vote.

However, Commons leader Chris Grayling told MPs today that it will take place on May 18, just under two weeks after local elections.

"Rethink" on plan to postpone Queen's Speech until after EU vote
Queen’s Speech "pushed back until after EU referendum"

His Labour opposite number Chris Bryant has already hit out at the decision to hold the speech ahead of the EU vote, however, branding it "a profound mistake".

He added: "Whatever the government’s intentions, they will be misconstrued. We have already seen that the Brexit campaign are now so desperate that they are even trying to recruit members of the Royal Family to their cause. So I say lay off the Queen, and think again."

According to The Times, the speech will place a heavy emphasis on education policy, with a government source telling the paper: "The feeling is that this is unsustainable and it is becoming important to reassure people that the government hasn’t forgotten everything else."

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