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This Queen’s Speech will deliver Brexit alongside an ambitious programme of domestic reform that delivers real change to the lives of individuals and benefits to wider society. This programme will focus on:
- supporting the NHS to deliver world-class healthcare;
- tackling violent crime and strengthening the criminal justice system to keep the population safe and support victims;
- ensuring fairness and protection for individuals and families;
- “levelling up” opportunity across the United Kingdom, though better infrastructure, education and science; and
- protecting the environment and promoting animal welfare.
It has always been the Government’s priority to secure the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 October. This Queen’s Speech sets out how we will seize the opportunities created by Brexit:
- We remain committed to securing a deal with the EU and negotiating an ambitious future relationship, based on free trade and friendly cooperation. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill will ratify that deal once secured.
- We will reform UK agriculture policy through an Agriculture Bill, introducing schemes to pay for public goods like environmental protection and strengthening transparency and fairness in the supply chain.
- The Fisheries Bill will enable us to reclaim control over who can fish in our waters, and under what terms, ensuring the sustainability of our marine life and environment.
- Legislation will be taken forward to capitalise on the opportunities that will come from our newly independent trade policy and deliver for UK businesses and customers.
- The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination Bill will end free movement, deliver a new fair, modern and global immigration system, and reaffirm our commitment to the right to remain for resident European citizens who have built their lives here in the UK and contributed so much.
- The Financial Services Bill will provide certainty and stability for this critical sector, maintaining the UK’s world-leading regulatory standards and keeping the UK open to international markets after Brexit.
- The Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill will make sure that individuals, families and businesses in the UK who become involved in international legal disputes have a clear framework for cross-border resolutions.
The Speech sets out a number of key measures to support the NHS and our healthcare system:
- We will work to implement the NHS Long Term Plan in England, building on the NHS’s own recommendations to ensure a health service fit for the future.
- Legislation will be taken forward to establish the Health Service Safety Investigations Body. This will be the world’s first such body, charged with independence and powers to investigate incidents that occur during the provision of NHS services that have, or may have, implications for the safety of patients.
- A Medicines and Medical Devices Bill will capitalise on opportunities to ensure that our NHS and patients can have faster access to innovative medicines, while supporting the growth of our domestic sector.
- We will bring forward substantive proposals to fix the crisis in adult social care, giving people the dignity and security they deserve.
- We will continue to work to modernise and reform the Mental Health Act to ensure that people get the support they need, with a much greater say in their care.
The Speech reaffirms our commitment to tackling violent crime, strengthening the criminal justice system and ensuring victims receive the support they need and the justice they deserve:
- A Sentencing Bill will change the automatic release point from halfway to two-thirds for adult offenders serving sentences of four years or more for serious violence or sexual offences.
- We will legislate to deal more effectively with foreign national offenders, increasing the maximum penalty for those who return to the UK in breach of a deportation order.
- Accelerating our plans to enshrine in law the support victims are entitled to; we will consult on a new Victims’ Law and publish a revised Victims’ Code early in 2020.
- New legislation will require the Parole Board to take into account an offender’s failure to disclose certain information about their crime - a version of Helen’s Law.
- A Serious Violence Bill will place a duty on public bodies across different sectors to work together and share data and information to identify and tackle early factors that can lead to crime, and put in place plans to prevent and reduce serious violence.
- A Police Protections Bill will support the police, establishing a Police Covenant that recognises their bravery, commitment and sacrifice.
- We will also legislate to empower police officers to immediately arrest someone they know is wanted for a serious crime committed in a trusted country, without having to apply to a court for a warrant first.
This Queen’s Speech outlines a number of key measures we will progress to ensure fairness and protection for individuals and families:
- The Domestic Abuse Bill, which will transform the response, across sectors and agencies, to victims of this crime, will continue to be progressed through Parliament (it was carried over from the previous session).
- We will re-introduce the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, removing unnecessary conflict during the divorce process, which so often leaves children caught in the middle, while ensuring the decision to divorce remains a carefully considered decision.
- We are committed to making the UK the safest place to be online and will continue to develop proposals to achieve this end, including the introduction of new regulations for internet companies which ensure protections for web users.
- The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill will make sure that tips are kept in full by, or distributed fairly and transparently to, those who work hard to earn them.
- We will continue to deliver on the commitments set out in the Good Work Plan, ensuring that our employment practices keep pace with modern ways of working and productivity is enhanced.
- A Pension Schemes Bill will enable people to plan their saving for later life by giving them access to information on their pensions’ savings in one place online, for the first time. It will also improve the protection of people’s pensions, strengthening the powers of the regulator to tackle irresponsible management of pension schemes.
- To make sure residents are safe in their homes, we will take forward legislative measures that put in place new and modernised regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products. We will also ensure that residents have a stronger voice in the system.
The Speech sets out how we will level up every corner of the United Kingdom through better education, infrastructure and science, renewing the ties that bind us together:
- We are giving schools a multi-billion pound boost, meaning that every school has more money for every child. We will also move towards delivering this funding directly to schools, through a single national formula.
- We will take bold steps to accelerate delivery of fast, reliable and secure broadband networks to millions of homes. This will include the introduction of the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill to make it easier for telecoms companies to install digital infrastructure when landlords ignore repeated requests for access. We will also bring forward measures to ensure that all new homes are built with reliable and fast internet speeds.
- We will maintain our position as a world-leader in aviation, modernising our airspace to make journeys quicker, quieter and cleaner, whilst also tackling the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft (drones).
- We will bring forward legislation to make sure that people can get home quickly when an airline goes bust.
- Later this autumn, we will publish a white paper on the recommendations of the Williams Review; the first comprehensive review of railway in a generation. We will focus on reforms that put passengers at the heart of the railway, provide value for taxpayers and deliver economic, social and environmental benefits across Britain.
- We will publish a white paper that will reiterate our commitment to levelling up opportunities and investment in the regions across England.
- We want to establish the UK as a global science superpower, building on our existing world-excellence. We will boost public R&D funding, launch a comprehensive UK Space Strategy, introduce a fast-track immigration scheme for top scientists and researchers and develop proposals for a new funding agency.
This Queen’s Speech deepens our commitment to the natural environment and animal welfare:
- We will introduce a landmark Environment Bill to ensure that we protect and preserve this planet for generations to come. It will include measures to establish a new Office for Environmental Protection, increase local powers to tackle air pollution and introduce charges for specified single use plastic items.
- We will take forward several measures to promote and protect animal welfare, including re-introducing the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty. We will seek to improve the welfare of animals transported for slaughter, and ban the import and export of trophies from endangered animals.
In addition to all the measures above, the Government will continue to drive forward work to deliver for every corner of the UK:
- We will maintain a strong fiscal discipline to ensure the sustainability of the public finances, allowing us to invest in growing our economy
- We will continue to uphold the constitutional integrity of the UK, working constructively with the devolved administrations and their legislatures to ensure our Union continues to flourish. And we will continue to work tirelessly to restore the devolved power-sharing government at Stormont to ensure the people of Northern Ireland have the political leadership of their elected local representatives.
- We will continue to invest in our courageous Armed Forces, spending at least two per cent of our GDP on Defence every year of this Parliament, and ensuring that, as a country, we support both those who serve and have served to keep us safe.
- We will protect the integrity of our democracy and elections, tackling electoral fraud through the introduction of voter ID and banning postal vote harvesting.
- Finally, as we leave the EU we will maintain our place as leaders on the international stage, championing our interests and values. We will continue to work alongside our international partners to tackle the most pressing global challenges, including climate change, and we will secure ambitious new trade deals with all our partners across the world.