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This Queen’s Speech is about recognising and grasping the opportunities that lie ahead for the United Kingdom as we leave the European Union:
- delivering a Brexit deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom
- building a stronger, fairer country by strengthening our economy, tackling injustice and promoting opportunity and aspiration
27 Bills and draft Bills are being announced today in a legislative programme, which will deliver on these themes.
1. Delivering Brexit
Following on from the 2016 referendum, the government will bring forward legislation to deliver on the will of the British people and ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU.
1.1 Repeal Bill
This Bill will allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after exit and therefore maximising certainty for individuals and businesses. The Bill will:
- repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and convert EU law into UK law as we leave the EU
- create temporary powers for Parliament to make secondary legislation, enabling corrections to be made to the laws that do not operate appropriately once we have left the EU; it will also allow changes to be made to domestic law to reflect the content of any withdrawal agreement under Article 50
- replicate the common UK frameworks created by EU law in UK law, and maintain the scope of devolved decision-making powers immediately after exit. This will be a transitional arrangement to provide certainty after exit and allow intensive discussion and consultation with the devolved administrations on where lasting common frameworks are needed
The Bill does not put any constraints on the withdrawal agreement we will make with the EU and further legislation will be introduced to support such an agreement if and when required.
1.2 Customs Bill
As it stands, the EU customs code applies directly in the UK. The Bill will ensure:
- that the UK has a standalone UK customs regime on exit
- flexibility to accommodate future trade agreements with the EU and others
- that changes can be made to the UK’s VAT and excise regimes to ensure that the UK has standalone regimes on EU-exit
1.3 Trade Bill
The Bill will cement the United Kingdom’s status as a leading trading nation, driving positive global change through trade, whilst ensuring UK businesses are protected from unfair trading practices. The Bill will put in place the essential and necessary legislative framework to allow the UK to operate its own independent trade policy upon exit from the European Union.
1.4 Immigration Bill
With the repeal of the European Communities Act, it will be necessary to establish new powers concerning the immigration status of EEA nationals. The Bill will allow the government to control the number of people coming here from Europe while still allowing us to attract the brightest and the best. The Bill will:
- allow for the repeal of EU law on immigration, primarily free movement, that will otherwise be saved and converted into UK law by the Repeal Bill
- make the migration of EU nationals and their family members subject to relevant UK law once the UK has left the EU
1.5 Fisheries Bill
As the UK leaves the EU, the Bill will enable the UK to exercise responsibility for access to fisheries and management of its waters.
1.6 Agriculture Bill
In line with the manifesto, the Bill will ensure that after we leave the EU we have an effective system in place to support UK farmers and protect our natural environment. The Bill will:
- provide stability to farmers as we leave the EU
- protect our precious natural environment for future generations
- deliver on the manifesto commitment to “provide stability for farmers as we exit the EU
1.7 Nuclear Safeguards Bill
The Bill will establish a UK nuclear safeguards regime as we leave the European Union and Euratom. The Bill will give the Office for Nuclear Regulation powers to take on the role and responsibilities required to meet our international safeguards, and nuclear non-proliferation, obligations.
1.8 International Sanctions Bill
The Bill will support our role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a leading player on the world stage, by establishing a new sovereign UK framework to implement international sanctions on a multilateral or unilateral basis. The Bill will:
- return decision-making powers on non-UN sanctions to the UK
- enable the UK’s continued compliance with international law after the UK’s exit from the EU
2. Building a stronger economy
2.1 Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill
The Bill will ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of developing new technology in electric and automated road vehicles. The Bill will:
- allow the regulatory framework to keep pace with the fast evolving technology for electric cars, helping improve air quality
- provide for the installation of charging points for electric and hydrogen vehicles
- extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles, to ensure that compensation claims continue to be paid quickly, fairly, and easily, in line with longstanding insurance practice
2.2 Space Industry Bill
The UK has one of the largest aerospace industries in the world and has pioneered new technology for modern satellites. The Bill will:
- create new powers to license a wide range of new commercial spaceflight, including vertically-launched rockets, spaceplanes, satellite operation, spaceports and other technologies
- create a regulatory framework to manage risk, ensuring that commercial spaceflight in the UK remains safe
2.3 High Speed 2 Phase 2A Bill
The next phase of the HS2 project, linking up communities, will be set out in this Bill. The Bill will provide the powers to build and operate the next stage of the HS2 network between Birmingham and Crewe.
2.4 Smart Meter Bill
In order to help deliver more transparent energy bills and allow households to monitor their use effectively, the Bill will:
- extend, by five years, powers to make changes to smart meter regulations, and make sure the rollout is delivered effectively
- introduce a Special Administration Regime to ensure the continuing operation of the national smart meter service if the provider becomes insolvent
2.5 National Insurance Contributions Bill
The Bill will legislate for National Insurance contributions (NICs) changes announced at previous fiscal events (Budget 2016 and Autumn Statement 2016).
3. Making our country fairer
3.1 Travel Protection Bill
This Bill will improve protection for holidaymakers by updating the UK’s financial protection scheme for holidays. The Bill will update the Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (ATOL) scheme, to align it with enhancements to the package travel regulations that predate people booking their holidays on the internet.
3.2 Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill
Tackling unfair fees on tenants will make the private rental market more affordable and competitive. The draft Bill will bring forward proposals to:
- ban landlords and agents from requiring tenants to make any payments as a condition of their tenancy with the exception of the rent, a capped refundable security deposit, a capped refundable holding deposit and tenant default fees
- cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than one month’s rent
3.3 Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill
In line with the manifesto commitment, draft proposals will be published to update the law to help tackle the evil of domestic abuse and violence. Proposals will be published in draft for scrutiny by MPs and peers to help build a consensus and raise the profile of this issue. The draft measures will bring forward proposals:
- to establish a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner
- to define domestic abuse and create a consolidated new domestic abuse civil prevention and protection order
- to ensure that if abusive behaviour involves a child, then the court can hand down a sentence that reflects the devastating life-long impact that abuse has on the child
3.4 Civil Liability Bill
This Bill will crack down on fraudulent whiplash claims and is expected to reduce motor insurance premiums by about £35 per year. The Bill will ban offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence and introduce a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with a duration of up to 2 years.
3.5 Courts Bill
The Bill will reform the courts system in England and Wales to ensure it is more efficient and accessible, and in doing so utilise more modern technology. The Bill will:
- end direct cross examination of domestic violence victims by their alleged perpetrators in the family courts and allow more victims to participate in trials without having to meet their alleged assailant face-to-face
- introduce digital services which will allow businesses to pursue their cases quickly, enabling them to recover debts more easily
- provide a better working environment for judges, allowing more leadership positions in the judiciary to be offered on a fixed term basis, and enabling judges to be deployed more flexibly
3.6 Financial Guidance and Claims Bill
The Bill will combine three financial advice bodies into one, ensuring that people across the UK are able to seek the help and advice they need to manage their finances. The Bill will:
- establish a new statutory body, accountable to Parliament, with responsibility for coordinating the provision of debt advice, money guidance, and pension guidance
- transfer the regulation of claims management services to the Financial Conduct Authority, and transfer complaints-handling responsibility to the Financial Ombudsman Service
3.7 Goods Mortgage Bill
The Bill will implement recommendations from the Law Commission to update Victorian era law on logbook loans. The Bill will:
- increase protections to borrowers who have taken out a mortgage on goods that they own, such as their car (a “logbook loan”)
- ensure borrowers are better informed about their loan and provide safeguards if borrowers get into financial difficulty
4. Making our country safer and more united
4.1 Armed Forces Bill
The Bill will provide our Service personnel with modern, flexible opportunities to serve their country in ways that better suit their lifestyle aspirations and circumstances – while still ensuring our armed forces have all the resources and capability they need to be the best in the world and keep our country safe. The Bill will:
- enable forms of part-time service and limited geographic employment within the Regular Armed Forces
- enable Service personnel returning from special leave including maternity, shared parental and adoption leave to have more options to support an easier transition back into duty
4.2 Data Protection Bill
The Bill will fulfil a manifesto commitment to ensure the UK has a data protection regime that is fit for the 21st century. The Bill will:
- ensure that our data protection framework is suitable for our new digital age, and cement the UK’s position at the forefront of technological innovation, international data sharing and protection of personal data
- strengthen rights and empower individuals to have more control over their personal data including a right to be forgotten when individuals no longer want their data to be processed, provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it
- establish a new data protection regime for non-law enforcement data processing, replacing the Data Protection Act 1998
- modernise and update the regime for data processing by law enforcement agencies
4.3 Draft Patient Safety Bill
The draft Bill will set out a framework to help improve patient safety in the NHS and instil greater public confidence in the provision of healthcare services in England. The Bill will bring forward proposals to:
- establish the Health Service Safety Investigation Body in statute, providing it with clear powers to conduct independent and impartial investigations into patient safety risks in the NHS in England
- create a prohibition on the disclosure of information held in connection with an investigation conducted by the Health Service Safety Investigation Body, enabling participants to be as candid as possible. This prohibition will not apply where there is an ongoing risk to the safety of patients or evidence of criminal activity, in which case the Investigation Body can inform the relevant regulator or the police
5. Other measures
The programme will also include three Finance Bills to implement budget decisions. Summer Finance Bill 2017 will include a range of tax measures including those to tackle avoidance. The programme will also include a technical Bill to ratify several minor EU agreements and further Bills, which will be announced in due course, to effect the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The government will also be taking forward a range of other measures which may not require primary legislation.