Queen-announces-British-government-plans-to-clamp-down-on-extremists. LONDON, – Britain is planning far-reaching steps to fight extremists, Queen Elizabeth revealed at the State Opening of Parliament in London on Wednesday.
Laws will be introduced to allow the British government to silence radicals and shut down premises used to promote hatred.
New get-tough policies were unveiled during the Queen’s Speech, a centuries-old tradition, which sees the reigning monarch deliver a speech written by the government, outlining its agenda.
Announcing the majority Conservative Party’s plans, the Queen stated: “My government will use the opportunity of a strengthening economy to deliver security for working people, to increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and to strengthen national defenses.”
On the back of a sweeping general election victory last year, Prime Minister David Cameron described it as a “One Nation Queen’s Speech from a progressive, One Nation, Conservative Government.”
Among the highlights are plans to get tough with Islamists and other radicals operating in the United Kingdom.
The government will seek to tackle the “menace” of extremism with new civil orders which will bar individuals from attending or speaking at public events, protests or meetings.
A Counter Extremism and Safeguarding Bill will clamp down on websites and social media trying to radicalize Britons and brainwashing them to jihad. Extremists also will be banned from infiltrating schools, colleges and working with children.
The queen said the plan is to “prevent radicalization, tackle extremism in all its forms and promote community integration”.
There were also plans to introduce a so-called “Snoopers Charter,” which would allow authorities wide-ranging powers to hack into civilians’ phones and other devices, and monitor individuals’ Internet use.
In what was described as the “biggest shake-up of prisons since Victorian times,” there are plans for six major British prisons to be semi-autonomous. This will allow governors greater control over prison work and rehabilitation services, family visits, finances and the power to allow some inmates to be tagged and sent home on weekdays.
Cameron later issued a statement saying: “Because this government sees the potential in everyone, we finally undertake the long-overdue change that our prisons need.
“No longer will they be warehouses for criminals, we want them to be incubators of changed and reformed lives.”
Altogether there are plans to to introduce 21 new bills.
These include a new tax on sugar-rich sodas, which will come into force from April 2018; the right for every household to have access to high-speed Internet; plans to make it easier for new universities to open and be funded.
The adoption process in the United Kingdom will be speded up, along with plans to better protect pensions and a law introduced to require porn sites to verify users are over 18.
Plans to build Britain’s first commercial spaceport were also outlined, along with a proposal to see more government support for businesses investing in pilotless drone aircraft.
Following the Queen’s Speech, MPs began debating the plans in the House of Commons. Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn blasted the prime minister.
“This government is failing to deliver an economy that meets the needs and aspirations of the people — a government that is consistently failing to meet its own economic targets,” said Corbyn.
“They have failed on the deficit, failed on the debt, failed on productivity, failed to rebalance the economy.”
By Martin Smith