Queen Elizabeth will speak on behalf of Prime Minister David Cameron on the government’s plans for a European Union membership referendum on Wednesday after the latter failed to explain when it will take place.
As Queen Elizabeth, 89, opens parliament with a yearly exhibit of ceremony, she will read out a speech written for her by Cameron’s government.
In her speech, the Queen will say the new Conservative government plans to pass a law in its first year that would let the referendum happen by the end of 2017.
To show Cameron’s seriousness, the law will be introduced into parliament on Thursday just a day later as Cameron goes on board to a European tour to try to impress counterparts into supporting the EU reform. He will enter into talks with French President Francois Hollande in Paris and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Cameron said that if he completes the renegotiation early he would hold the referendum before 2017. But at the same time, he said that Eurosceptic MPs were pressurizing him to take some more time.
“I think we need a proper grown-up debate – it’s the most important constitutional issue of my lifetime. It’s something that we should properly take our time over,” Liam Fox, a former defence secretary, said to BBC radio.
Some EU politicians are not in favor of the referendum. They complained that Cameron’s European Union membership referendum is broad and hazy.
Apart from the referendum plans, other laws which the queen will outline on Wednesday include strategies to replace the prevailing human rights law, a crackdown on unlawful immigration, more authority for Scotland, and a bill to stop hikes in key taxes before 2020.