David Cameron borrowed from Benjamin Disraeli once again to claim his "One Nation" Conservatism is at the heart of the 2016 Queen's Speech. The prime minister also attempted to dominate the centre ground of British politics by branding the proposed legislative programme as "progressive".

"We've set challenging, but achievable goals, using the strong foundations of our economy to make a series of bold choices that will improve lives across the country," Cameron declared. "It is a One Nation Queen's Speech from a progressive, One Nation, Conservative government."

But with five weeks to go before the EU referendum on 23 June, the government's plans were overshadowed by the Brexit vote.

A "leave" vote at the historic ballot could see the departure of Cameron from Number 10 and the upheaval of his government, effectively rendering the Queen's Speech worthless.

Conservative Brexit campaigners such as Iain Duncan Smith have already attacked Cameron for a lack of a Sovereignty Bill in the agenda.

The proposal, which was promised by Cameron as part of his EU renegotiation in February, would have attempted to assert the primacy of UK courts over the European Court of Justice.

Instead, Cameron has put prison reform in England and Wales at the heart of his legislative programme for the next year. The government described the measures, which will give governors more freedom to run jails, as the "biggest shake-up since Victorian times".

State Opening of Parliament
Elizabeth II reads the Queen's Speech from the throne during State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords Justin Tallis/ AFP