British coalition government vows to `shake up political system`

Britain`s Conservative-Liberal coalition government vowed to "shake up the political system" with an ambitious reform agenda.

Updated: May 25, 2010, 21:44 PM IST

London: Britain`s Conservative-Liberal coalition government Tuesday vowed to "shake up the political system" with an ambitious reform agenda while at the same time making the reduction of the enormous budget deficit its "first priority".

The legislative programme for the next 18 months was presented to parliament by Queen Elizabeth II in a traditional ceremony of pomp and circumstance known as the Queen`s Speech.

It was the 84-year-old monarch`s 56th Queen`s Speech, but the first announcing the policy programme of a coalition government.

Following the May 6 general election, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat chief Nick Clegg formed the first coalition government in Britain since World War II.

The legislative programme, clearly marked by its Liberal input, promised to "roll back the power of the state", restore civil liberties and reform parliament and the voting system.

On European policy, the government pledged to introduce a bill that would subject any future changes to European Union (EU) treaties to a referendum in Britain.

On immigration, the government plans to limit the arrival of unskilled workers from outside the EU.

However, tackling the massive public sector deficit of an estimated 156 billion pounds ($223 billion) this year would be the government`s "first priority", with details of tough austerity measures to be outlined in an emergency budget June 22.

IANS