By Jonathan Davies

The Queen has officially opened this Parliament by delivering her speech in the House of Lords, outlining some of the key laws the government plans to pass over the next year.

In her first Conservative-only speech in almost 20 years, which included 26 bills, the Queen said the government will introduce legislation designed to increase productivity and improve living standards. The Queen reminded us that the government will cut benefits further and introduce measures to increase apprenticeships and help for small businesses.

During the election campaign Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to introduce a law preventing the government from raising income tax, VAT or National Insurance over the next five years - that was another piece of legislation introduced by the Queen.

The Queen also said that "her government" will hold a referendum on the UK's membership with the EU before the end of 2017.

Mr Cameron said the Queen's speech was a "programme for working people" designed to create full employment and "bring our country together".

Delivering the speech, Her Majesty said: "My government will legislate in the interests of everyone in the country.

"It will adopt a one nation approach, helping working people get on, supporting aspiration, giving new opportunities to the disadvantaged and bringing different parts of our country together."

Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “This is a jam-packed Queen’s Speech, with a strong focus on stepping up a gear on the economic recovery - locking in growth, creating jobs and boosting investment right across the country.

“With the starting gun on the European Union debate having been fired, the Government must be careful not to let it overshadow the rest of its programme.

“Businesses need to see it commit to a genuinely achievable reform agenda, making the UK and the EU more competitive. That must go hand in hand with other measures to boost growth, like expanding aviation capacity and getting on with HS2.”