There was plenty of pomp and ceremony as The Queen attended the House of Commons today for the main ceremonial event of the parlimentary calendar - The State opening of Parliament. And she had bad news for opponents of the high speed rail link through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
The Government showed its determination to keep the £33 billion HS2 rail project firmly on track by announcing proposed legislation in the Queen's Speech.
The first phase of the controversial scheme, from London to Birmingham, runs through Tory heartlands and is bitterly opposed by some residents' groups and some councils.
But the project has all-party support today an HS2 Hybrid Bill was announced as well as a High Speed Rail Preparation Bill.
The Hybrid Bill will not only give the Government parliamentary permission to build the line, but any specific powers needed to operate it.
The Preparation Bill will provide the financial powers to proceed with HS2 more quickly than otherwise possible.
This Bill will allow expenditure on the construction design of HS2 as well ecological surveys and other preparatory work. It will also provide Parliamentary authority for expenditure on property compensation.
We expect the High Speed Rail Two rail line to be rubber stamped today during the Queen's Speech. The legislation would allow funding to be made available before the whole project is given the go-ahead.
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Click video. The leader of the United Arab Emirates arrived at Windsor Castle today for a two-day state visit. He is spending two days as guest of the Queen at Windsor.
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of the United Arab Emirates, and Her Majesty the Queen arrive in Windsor by coach, at the start of a two-day state visit by the President.
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is at Windsor Castle today for the first day of a two-day state visit to the UK.
He is meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle, after a state welcome and carriage drive to the castle. He’ll be staying at Windsor with Her Majesty for two days.
His visit is the first royal appearance in the UK by a UAE leader since the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Queen hosted the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1989.
The timetable for Shaikh Khalifa’s two-day includes a state lunch at Windsor Castle and a meeting at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron.