UK to double length of next Parliament to deal with Brexit

The seven Sinn Fein MPs were also at the Houses of Parliament yesterday- although they do not formally take their seats on principle

Leadsom added: "We will build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans and that means giving Parliament the maximum amount of time to scrutinise these bills by holding a two-year session of Parliament".

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said it would give MPs and peers the maximum time possible to scrutinise legislation taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

In a rare move, the United Kingdom government today announced the cancellation of the Queen's Speech for 2018 to give Parliament more time to push through controversial Brexit laws after Prime Minister Theresa May's election debacle.

Leadsom also refused to accept that the decision had been taken to reduce the number of Queen's speech votes the government had to face in the lifetime of the parliament and said it was purely about getting the work of Brexit and social reforms done.

This year's speech was delayed in the aftermath of the general election result which saw the Conservatives lose their parliamentary majority, forcing them to enter talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to help prop up a minority government.

Tory backbencher Heidi Allen told The Sunday Times the country wanted a "leader and a party that will carry us through this most turbulent of periods but care about the little man".

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German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Sunday's Welt am Sonntag newspaper that "maybe there is now a chance to achieve a so-called "soft Brexit.'" But he said staying in the European Union single market would require Britain to accept European Union workers" freedom of movement.

Each Parliament is usually divided into five parliamentary years called "sessions", beginning and ending in the spring.

Parliament normally sits for one year, but officials said late Saturday night more time will be needed.

On that occasion, it was the first time since 1949 the speech had been scrapped, garnering criticisms of an "abuse of power" by the opposition benches.

The Government said the Queen's Speech will include the Great Repeal Bill, which converts European Union laws into British legislation, and other Brexit legislation around immigration laws.

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