Boris Johnson's Queen's Speech: 'The most radical in a generation' - but what's in it?

Her Majesty has delivered, on behalf of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, what he says is the "most radical Queen's Speech in a generation", setting out the government's main priorities.

Mr Johnson said his "ambition" for the country is "nothing short of a complete transformation" and claimed there is "no time to waste" in achieving it.

Addressing MPs after the speech, Mr Johnson vowed that his Government would work "flat out" to deliver "a new golden age" for the UK, as he insisted his vision is for the long term.

"This is not a programme for one year or one parliament - it is a blueprint for the future of Britain," he said.

But outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised Conservative plans for social care and Brexit as well as the party's record on the NHS, which he said is "on its knees due to this Tory Government".

"As this Queen's Speech shows, what the Government is actually proposing is woefully inadequate for the scale problems that this country faces," he told the Commons.

It is Mr Johnson's second Queen's Speech as Prime Minister, with one being delivered following his controversial prorogation of Parliament.

The difference now is that the PM has a huge majority in the Commons, meaning he's able to set out his vision without any worry MPs may reject it.

Of the 25 Bills detailed in Mr Johnson's second Queen's Speech - and another 11 outlined in accompanying documents - seven are devoted to Britain's departure from the EU.

So what is actually in this Queen's Speech?

  • Summary:

As one journalist in the House of Commons press gallery quipped, "there's nothing in this Queen's Speech that we haven't heard before" - though that may not be strictly true.

In the 151-page document there are nuggets that appear to be new plans, such as the section on espionage legislation.

But Mr Johnson has largely taken the speech as an opportunity to bang the Brexit drum, using the much-repeated analogy that his deal is "pre-cooked", ready to "pop in the microwave".

He says the new Parliament, which is no longer in deadlock, must work hard to "maximise the opportunities of Brexit" so the his government can "move on and focus on the people's priorities".

There's a plan to implement legislation that will block a further extension to the Brexit transition period, which is set to end at the end of 2020.

He wants to pass this law to "avoid the trap of further dither and delay" - to make way for his plans on the NHS, police, infrastructure and the rest.

Many of the main pledges have already been stated, for example; 40 new NHS hospitals, 50,000 new nurses, 20,000 new police officers, and plans for an Australian-style points-based immigration system.

The State Opening of Parliament, which follows last week's General Election, took place without some of the traditional ceremony, with the Queen arriving by car rather than carriage and wearing a mint green dress and hat rather than her robes and state crown.

  • The main points:

The first priority of the Queen's Speech is to "deliver Brexit on January 31 and to negotiate an ambitious free trade agreement with the EU".

Aside from Brexit, here are the other main points in the Queen's Speech:

- Investing in the NHS and other public services

This section of the Queen's Speech includes plans to deliver an "NHS Long Term Plan in England" which will ensure the service is "fit for the future".

A Medicines and Medical Devices Bill which aims to give patients faster access to innovative medicines.

There is a plan to reform social care and provide extra financing so that nobody needs to "sell their home to pay for it".

The prime minister also wants to "modernise and reform" the Mental Health Act to give patients greater say over their care.

He also pledges to increase funding so that "all children can access a high quality education".

- Measures to support workers and families

This section includes plans to enhance workers rights by supporting flexible working and ensuring workers "keep their hard-earned tips".

There is a plan to reduce the cost of living by "increases to the National Insurance threshold and the National Living Wage".

No-fault evictions will be abolished and lifetime deposits introduced under new legislation to improve renters' security.

But landlords will also be given strengthened powers to regain possession of their property under the Renters' Reform Bill announced in the Queen's Speech on Thursday.

The expansion of the database of rogue landlords is also included in the legislation to be introduced in Parliament aimed at improving the rental market in England.

- Strengthening the criminal justice system

The Prime Minister's legislative programme includes Bills which will ensure the most serious violent offenders - including terrorists - serve longer prison terms.

A Royal Commission will be established to improve the "efficiency and effectiveness" of the criminal justice process, and the Government will enshrine in law a commitment on the health service's funding, with an extra £33.9 billion per year provided by 2023/24.

- Supporting the Armed Forces, security and defence

The speech confirmed plans for the "deepest review" of Britain's security defence, and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

Led by the Prime Minister, it will cover the armed forces, the intelligence agencies and counter-terrorism as well as the future development of foreign policy.

The Government will look at whether the Official Secrets Act needs overhauling in the wake of the Salisbury chemical weapons attack as well as considering whether there is a case for updating the treason laws.

- Improving infrastructure

This section includes Mr Johnson's much-touted plan to provide all new homes with reliable and fast broadband.

He also wants the UK to remain a main player in global aviation by "modernising" airspace, making journey's "quicker, quieter and cleaner".

There will also be a further development of a plan to ensure customers can get home quickly when an airline goes bust, as happened with Thomas Cook.

Town centres will be kept "vibrant" through a plan to reform business rates which will protect high streets and communities from excessive tax hikes.

- Safeguarding the environment and tackling climate change

The Government says it will continue to work to meet environmental targets to halt the climate crisis.

One of the main promises is to meet the "world-leading" target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The plan also includes tacking air pollution and banning exports of pollution plastic waste to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

"To protect and improve the environment for future generations, a Bill will enshrine in law environmental principles and legally-binding targets, including for air quality," the Queen said.

- Espionage legislation

Buried deep within the Queen's Speech document is a section on foreign espionage following the attack in Salisbury on an ex-Russian spy.

The purpose of the legislation is to provide security agencies with the tools they need to disrupt Hostile State Activity in the UK and around the world.

This will, in turn, make it more difficult for foreign adversaries to operate in the UK and strengthen the response to any threats.

The government plans to do this by overhauling the Official Secrets Act, which is the only piece of UK legislation that specifically addresses Hostile State Activity.

Ministers will also consider whether to adopt further powers in line with those in countries such as the United States and Australia, as well as whether there is a case for updating the historic treason laws.

In some cases the measures could apply to actions committed outside the UK in order to protect Britain’s overseas assets and deal with “hostile actors” operating abroad.

The moves follow the poisoning last year of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in an attack blamed by the Government on the Kremlin.

At the same time the Prime Minister is to lead what is described as the “deepest review” of Britain’s security, defence and foreign policy since the Cold War.

It will cover the armed forces, the intelligence agencies and counter-terrorism as well as the development of Britain’s foreign policy outside the EU.

It will look at Whitehall’s thinking on “all aspects” of deterrence in a rapidly evolving security environment, including ways in which “technological surprise” could threaten security.