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25 May 10. Parliament: State Opening. The State Opening of Parliament, marking the start of the 2010/11 Parliamentary Session, took place on 25 May 10. Delivering the Queen’s Speech, Her Majesty outlined a legislative programme of 23 Bills with the first priority being “to reduce the deficit and restore economic growth”. As already announced, the Government is to “undertake a full Strategic Defence and Security Review” (SDSR). The Government is to “work with the Afghan Government, Pakistan and international partners for lasting security and stability in Afghanistan”.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to visit Canada in June and the United Nations, New York, in July. His Holiness The Pope is to visit the UK in September.
Comment: Most of the Speech had already been ‘leaked’ to the media and so it contained few surprises. Although the list of Bills (and one Draft Bill) looks formidable, the 2010/11 Session lasts for some 18 months.
‘Foreign Affairs and Defence’ aspects of the Speech were debated in the Commons on 26 May 10. The Foreign Secretary opened the Debate (Hansard, Column 174), which was concluded by the Defence Secretary (Column 272). The forthcoming SDSR would be “an opportunity for long-overdue radical thinking and reform”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/21, 31 May 09)

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