Queens Speech – Baachu Summary

Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

The Government’s briefing on new Bills and other measures announced today as part of the Queen’s Speech can be found  here

The priority remains delivering Brexit on 31st January 2020 and to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU. Enshrining multi-year NHS funding in law is another priority as well as a Royal Commission to review the criminal justice system.

Summary of Bills

Bills include the following:

 

  • EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill to implement in domestic law the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the UK and the EU, ensuring the UK leaves the EU with a deal on 31st January.
  • Trade Bill to create powers so that the UK can transition trade agreements it is party to through our membership of the EU and establish a new independent UK body to protect UK firms against injury caused by unfair trade practices and unforeseen surges in imports. Also to give UK businesses continued access to £1.3 trillion per annum of procurement opportunities in 47 countries, by creating the powers for the UK to implement the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement.
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill to Bring an end to free movement in UK law, to ensure that the Government can deliver a new Australian-style points-based immigration system from 2021.
  • NHS Funding Bill and NHS Long Term Plan to enshrine in law the multi-year funding settlement for the NHS, agreed earlier this year, that will see a £33.9 billion increase in cash terms by 2023-24.
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill to establish the Health Service Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) to investigate patient safety concerns and share recommendations to prevent similar incidents recurring.
  • Employment Bill to protect and enhance workers’ rights, promote fairness in the workplace, creating a single enforcement body to redress poor treatment, build on existing employment law measures that protect those in low-paid work and the gig economy such as a new right to request a more predictable contract.
  • Building Safety Bill to put in place new and enhanced regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products, and ensure residents have a stronger voice in the system, as well as a Fire Safety Bill.
  • Pension Schemes Bill to create a legislative framework for the introduction of pensions dashboards.
  • Broadband legislation to support the roll out of gigabit-capable broadband across the UK
  • Environment Bill to transform our environmental governance once we leave the EU by putting environmental principles into law; introducing legally binding targets; and establishing a new Office for Environmental Protection.
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill to provide a small number of temporary measures essential to the successful operation of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
  • High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill, to provide powers to build and operate the ext stage of the HS2 network, expected to the revived this Parliament, subject to the findings of the Oakervee Review.

 

In addition, the following measures are outlined:

 

  • Royal Commission on the Criminal Justice Process will undertake a fundamental review of the key issues affecting the system. Recommendations should help deliver improvements to the criminal justice process to make it more efficient and effective.
  • Publish a White Paper on English devolution, including plans for spending and local growth funding, and for levelling up powers between Mayoral Combined Authorities, increasing the number of mayors and more devolution deals.
  • National Infrastructure Strategy to be published alongside the first Budget, setting out further details of the Government’s plan to invest £100 billion to transform the UK’s infrastructure.
  • An Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review will be undertaken. It will examine the entire procurement process used by the armed forces, intelligence agencies and other security forces.
  • Continued commitment to spending at least 2 per cent of GDP on Defence every year of this Parliament and to increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation every year.
  • Introduce a new UK Shared Prosperity Fund to tackle inequality and deprivation in each of the four nations. It will replace the EU Structural Funds.
  • In relation to the NHS Long Term Plan, the Government is considering the NHS’s recommendations thoroughly and will bring forward detailed proposals shortly, which will lead to draft legislation.
  • Seek cross-party consensus on proposals for long term reform of social care to ensure and modernise the Mental Health Act.
  • Publish a National Strategy for Disabled People in 2020, supporting disabled people in all aspects and phases of their lives.
  • Clamp down on late payment and strengthen the powers of the Small Business Commissioner.
  • Increase the National Living Wage, raise the National Insurance Threshold next year and establish a new £1 billion childcare fund.
  • Develop proposals on company audit and corporate reporting, including a stronger regulator.
  • Publish a White Paper on rail reform informed by the recommendations of the Williams Review next year.
  • Invest a total of £14 billion more in schools over three years. Continue to expand the free schools programme.
  • Develop legislation and take forward plans set out in the Online Harms White Paper published in April 2019.

Source : BSA

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