Government dodges crunch vote in 2018 by scrapping next Queen's Speech

Sinn Fein's newly-elected MPs

Sinn Fein's newly-elected MPs

After days of uncertainty, the Government announced that the State Opening would now take place on Wednesday June 21 - two days later than originally scheduled.

Next year's Queen's Speech is being cancelled by the Government in a rare move created to ease in the new Brexit laws.

The official opening of United Kingdom parliament and the Queen's Speech - a key annual event in which the government lays out its policy agenda - will take place two days later than scheduled following the result of the snap election last week.

As a date has now been set for the Queen's Speech, this appears to suggest the Tories are close to finishing a deal with the DUP, The Guardian said.

"Both parties are committed to strengthening the Union, combating terrorism, delivering Brexit and delivering prosperity across the whole country", the source said.

Meanwhile, formal Brexit negotiations will get underway as planned on Monday despite the delayed state opening.

Earlier this week, DUP leader Arlene Foster met with the British Prime Minister to discuss a potential partnership.

This was the case in 2001, when a ten-minute speech was delivered to parliament before the Queen exited, changed from her ceremonial robes into her racing outfit and was taken under a police escort to Windsor Castle.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said parts of the Tory manifesto had to be "pruned away" because they would not command support from the Commons.

And Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann said the Prime Minister had assured him that the "entire deal will be made public".

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, also referred to as the Belfast Agreement, requires the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to show "rigorous impartiality" as they deal with the different political groups in Northern Ireland.

The nationalist Sinn Fein and SDLP and the cross-community Alliance have all made clear Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire can not chair the ongoing process to restore power-sharing at Stormont due to the perceived conflict of interest.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann said calls for Mr Brokenshire to stand aside from devolution talks were "a sideshow".

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