The Prime Minister has paved the way for a liberalisation of licensing laws in England and Wales in the Queen's speech at the state opening of Parliament.

The Queen announced: “My Government will bring forward legislation to streamline the licensing system for premises selling alcohol.

“This will abolish fixed opening hours and introduce a range of measures to reduce anti-social behaviour.”

The government said the plans would "encourage a more civilised culture in pubs, bars and restaurants".

The bill will get its first reading in the House of Lords on Thursday, with a second reading scheduled for the end of November. It should become law by next summer.

The British Retail Consortium said retailers would be encouraged by the stance to tackle crime and that abolishing “fixed pub opening hours” will end the “nonsense” of refusing alcohol sales during certain trading hours.

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents welcomed the government’s crack down on anti-social behaviour “which is a particular blight on local communities and endangers the survival of small community shops”.

On the euro no mention was made with regard to legislation for a referendum on UK entry to the currency. The speech restated that a judgement on the five economic tests would be made by next June.