The Queen gave her speech today and re-opened Parliament. While it sounded quite short, the speech was a mixed bag.
The speech confirmed that social care reform proposals will finally be moved forward but there’s no Bill set out, that lost learning due to the pandemic will be addressed and the Government will take steps to legislate on banning conversion therapy and seek to reform policies to address racial and ethnic disparities in our communities.
The bills announced were as follows:
Health and Care Bill, Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill, High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill, Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill, Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, Subsidy Control Bill, Procurement Bill, National Insurance Contributions Bill, Planning Bill, Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill, Building Safety Bill, Dormant Assets Bill, Charities Bill, Environment Bill, Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, Kept Animals Bill, Animals Abroad Bill, Electoral Integrity Bill, Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, Judicial Review Bill, Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill, Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concerns) Bill, Legacy Legislation, Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, Draft Victims Bill, New Plan for Immigration Legislation, Draft Online Safety Bill, Armed Forces Bill, National Insurance Contributions Bill and the Counter-State Threats Bill, Telecommunications (Security) Bill.
While most are not contentious and should pass through Parliament easily bringing us better healthcare, wider access to education for all ages, freeports, boosts for charities, strengthening animal welfare, cracking down on terrorism and crime and seeing faster internet. All items which can really help the United Kingdom ‘build back better’ as so often quoted by Government.
The ones which could ring alarm bells are the Leasehold Reform and Building Safety Bills, as there is always disagreements on who should pay for fire safety and whether leaseholders should pay more because that’s the nature of leasing. Additionally the Legacy NI Bill, the Electoral Integrity Bill and Immigration legislation is bound to get people from all sides of the House talking about the constitution, ,democracy and of course who should have the rights to live and work in the United Kingdom.
Interesting times ahead and it all begin as business as usual from next week!
You can watch all the ceremony and of course Her Majesty right here: