Queen's Speech shows monarch is 'still head of state' says Vickers
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At the State Opening of Parliament, the Queen outlined a number of areas the Government is planning to alter legislation following Brexit. The Queen’s speech is the first since the UK left the EU in January 2020.
Addressing MPs and peers in the House of Lords, Her Majesty explained the Government’s legislative programme for the next 12 months.
Work has been underway over the last year to build a reform programme to provide new opportunities for growth, to slash bureaucracy, and bolster workers rights and animal welfare standards.
While some Brexit legislation has been passed since leaving the bloc, including the EU trade deal, this is the first time plans have been formally set out.
Addressing Parliament, the Queen said: “My Government’s priority is to deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.
“To achieve this, my Government will level up opportunities across all parts of the United Kingdom, supporting jobs, businesses and economic growth and addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services.”
In total, plans for 25 new Bills were announced, with over a quarter relating to Brexit.
The seven new pieces of Brexit legislation are:
- Subsidy Control Bill – to replace bureaucratic EU state aid rules with a UK equivalent
- Procurement Bill – to simplify over 350 areas of red tape required in bidding for contracts
- National Insurance Contributions Bill – to create Freeport’s in England to increase investment, trade and jobs
- National Insurance Contributions Bill – to help employers access professionals across the world to fill vacancies
- Planning Bill – to simplify EU planning laws
- Turing Scheme – to create a new diversity exchange programme that is more global than the EU’s Erasmus+
- Animal welfare – an unspecified Bill to increase protection of home and farm animals both domestically and internationally
Ministers have been eager to stress they intend to use the UK’s freedom from Brussels’ rules to help with Britain’s bounce back from the pandemic.
Bureaucratic EU red tape will be scrapped, and new international markets for trade will be opened to help with the economic recovery.
Outlining the plans to make the most of Brexit, the Queen said: “Measures will be introduced to ensure that support for businesses reflects the United Kingdom’s strategic interests and drives economic growth.
“Laws will simplify procurement in the public sector.
“Eight new Freeports will create hubs for trade and help regenerate communities.
“My Government will ensure that the public finances are returned to a sustainable path once the economic recovery is secure.”
While the speech is delivered by the Queen, it is written by ministers.
The speech was signed off by the Cabinet at a meeting yesterday before being sent for Her Majesty to practice ahead of today.
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