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A parliament almost all about Brexit for two years

This Queen's Speech is not a legislative programme devoid of all ambition, even ignoring the meat of what parliament will be mostly doing over the next two years, which is to provide a British legal framework for Brexit.

There's an attempt to tame the wild west of the internet, for users, digital businesses and the security services (who will get a new legal framework for snooping on us).

There'll be a law to better protect the many victims of domestic abuse and violence.

There'll be measures to help UK businesses get to the forefront of cutting-edge driverless car and space industries.

And a review is promised of how we can put the provision of social care for the elderly on a firmer long term financial footing - though the Tory manifesto commitment to force all old people to pay for care from their savings, widely seen as one of the great electioneering own-goals of all time, is nowhere to be seen.

The Queen delivers her annual speech to set out the Government's programme of legislation. Credit: PA

But many of the other planned laws fall into the category of practical and potentially useful, rather than inspirational (attempts to reduce whiplash claims and bring down insurance premiums; a ban on upfront "letting fees" charged to tenants, inter alia).

The big stuff, of course, is all connected to Brexit - with the centrepiece being a "Repeal Bill" to remove the European Communities Act from the statute book and turn the hundreds and thousands of EU rules and laws on which we all run our lives into British law.

Then there will be a "Customs Bill" - to give the UK control over levying duties on goods as they cross our post-Brexit border.

Theresa May holds her first cabinet meeting since the election earlier this month. Credit: PA

A bill to give the government renewed control of immigration from the EU will be tabled, though as yet we don't know what the rules will be for those who want to live and work here.

And then there will be new laws so that after we leave the EU, fisherman, farmers and the nuclear industry will all know their rights, responsibilities, and financial support.

Oh, and apparently we need a new law so that if the government wants to impose sanctions on states we regard as behaving badly, we'll be able to do that.

Obvs, all the elements of Theresa May's election manifesto that were viewed by voters - and thus by Tory MPs - as toxic have been put in history's dustbin: so there's no mention of ending the triple lock on pension increases, abolishing the winter fuel allowance for the elderly, cancelling free school meals for the youngest children or permitting the creation of new grammar schools.

The PM pledged to scrap free primary school lunches for all in her manifesto. Credit: PA

Oh, and as I mentioned yesterday, a further shake up of law enforcement, including the abolition of the Serious Fraud Office, has disappeared.

As for the populist promise to cut energy bills, that's all become vague.

Finally there's the question of what the government could and should do, in response to voters' recent acclamation for Labour's massive public-spending promises and apparent rejection of further austerity.

Today the government says it will "reflect on the message voters sent at the general election", while renewing its commitment to balance the budget by 2025.

Or to put it another way, and as ministers tell me, the government will not suddenly start using its credit card to significantly increase resources for schools, hospitals, childcare and so on - but will instead try to sell more effectively the merits of reducing the burden of government debt a bit earlier than Labour would do.

Whether a majority of voters remain persuaded of the merits of such fiscal prudence is what will make or break the Conservative Party in this era (along with Tory MPs' near religious divisions on what kind of Brexit the UK needs, of course).

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