'We need to get Brexit right!' Theresa May defiant over EU exit ahead of Queen's Speech
Theresa May tonight pledged to work with "humility and resolve" to build a fairer and stronger Britain.
Ahead of tomorrow's Queen Speech, the Prime Minister signalled her determination to learn the lessons of her general election set back and regain the trust of voters.
She also insisted that making a success of the UK's departure from the EU remains her top priority.
She said: "We need to get Brexit right."
Proposed new laws to be announced at the State Opening of Parliament at Westminster tomorrow will include new consumer protection measures to cut the cost of living for hard-working households.
Mrs May hopes that tomorrow's parliamentary set-piece occasion can get her Government back on track after a tempestuous few weeks that have damaged Tory morale.
She is also understood to want to show that her minority administration is pressing ahead despite the continued wrangling over a possible deal with the Democratic Unionist Party.
Concerns were growing among Tory MPs last night that the attempt to forge a parliamentary agreement with the 10 MPs from the Northern Ireland party was faltering.
In a foreword to a Government background document about the Queen's Speech, Mrs May acknowledged disappointment at the general election result that saw her lose her Commons majority.
The Prime Minister wrote: "The election result was not the one I hoped for, but this Government will respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent.
"We will work hard every day to gain the trust and confidence of the British people, making their priorities our priorities."
She promised that the legislative programme to be announced by the Monarch from the throne in the House of Lords tomorrow will be centred on "grasping the opportunities" arising from the country's departure from the EU.
Mrs May said: "It is about delivering a Brexit deal that works for all parts of the UK while building a stronger, fairer country by strengthening our economy, tackling injustice and promoting opportunity and aspiration.
"First, we need to get Brexit right. That means getting a deal which delivers the result of last year’s referendum and does so in a way that commands maximum public support."
Prime Minister signalled her determination to learn the lessons of her general election. Source: Getty
Among the measures in the Queen's Speech will be:
• A Civil Liability Bill to cut motor insurance bills by an average of around £35 a year by curbing whiplash claims. Settlements of claims without medical evidence are to be banned and a new fixed compensation tariff for whiplash injuries will be introduced. The move follows a sharp rise in claims for personal injuries after road accidents from 520,000 to 780,000 a year over the last decade.
• A Financial Guidance and Claims Bill to set up a single watchdog to oversee publicly-funded financial guidance covering pensions and other long-term investments. It will also seek to cap fees of claims management firms and stamp out nuisance calls and encouragement of fraud.
• A Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill to crack down on the crime. It will establish a domestic violence and abuse commissioners to stand up for victims and monitor the response of agencies dealing with offences.
• Draft Tenant's Fees Bill to stop landlords charging "lettings fees" in an attempt to improve the housing markets. Figures have showed taht median fees charged by agents have increased by 60% to £223 over the last five years.
'We are clear that we are going to see Brexit through' says May. Source: Getty
Mrs May wrote: "Much work needs to be done to build a fairer society where people can go as far as their talents will take them and no one is held back because of their background."
She will insist her Government has a "purpose" and is "intent on building a strong economy and a fairer society".
Mrs May also threw down a challenge to Labour not to try to sabotage Brexit given the party's election manifesto commitment to quit the EU single market and end free movement for EU migrants to come to the UK.
"Much has been said in recent days about what the General Election signified about Britain’s decision to leave the EU," the Prime Minister wrote.
"The fact is that over 80 per cent of the electorate backed the two major parties, both of whom campaigned on manifestos that said we should honour the democratic decision of the British people.
"While this will be a Government that consults and listens, we are clear that we are going to see Brexit through, working with Parliament, business, the devolved administrations and others to ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal.
"This will therefore be a busy legislative session with a number of Bills geared towards making a success of Brexit."
She added: "The referendum vote last year was not just a vote to leave the EU though - it was a profound and justified expression that our country often does not work the way it should for millions of ordinary working families.
Arlene Foster, Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Source: Reuters
"That is why this legislative session will also contain a number of measures to build a stronger economy so we can improve people’s living standards and fund public services like our NHS and schools on which we all depend.
"The National Living Wage will be increased so that people who are on the lowest pay see their wages go up as the economy strengthens.
"We will continue to bring down the deficit so that young people don’t spend most of their working lives paying for our failure to live within our means.
"Work on our modern Industrial Strategy will continue to ensure all parts of the country share in economic success."
Concerns about Mrs May's attempt to get the support of the DUP intensified last night when sources in the Northern Ireland party warned a deal was "certainly not imminent".
A DUP source said the talks "haven't proceeded in a way that the DUP would have expected" and warned that the party's backing "can't be taken for granted".
Downing Street insisted the talks were "ongoing".
Cabinet ministers have rallied around Mrs May last week following some suggestions from Tory backbenchers that she should stand down following the botched election campaign.
And in a further signal of support, Boris Johnson "absolutely" rejected the idea that she should stand aside.
"I think nobody wants to see that and this is what the Prime Minister has said and what everybody I speak to wants is calm, Government getting on and not just delivering Brexit, but all the priorities of the people, that’s what we’ve got to do," the Foreign Secretary said in a BBC documentary.