June 22, 2017
The Queen’s Speech was delivered yesterday and covers a two-year period instead of the usual one to allow MPs enough time to debate all necessary Brexit legislation.
The content of the speech has been labelled ‘threadbare’ by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn but touched upon 27 bills as part of a legislative programme aimed at delivering:
- a Brexit deal which works for all parts of the UK; and
- a stronger, fairer country by strengthening the economy, tackling injustice and promoting opportunity.
Heavily focussed on Brexit, the Queen’s Speech outlined legislation which would control the number of people coming to the UK from the EU while still allowing the country to attract top talent.
The Immigration Bill would:
- 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; and
- make the migration of EU nationals and their family members subject to relevant UK law once the UK has left the EU.
The main non-Brexit proposals included:
- a Civil Liability Bill – addressing the “compensation culture” around motoring insurance claims;
- a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill – establishing a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors as well as monitoring the response of the authorities;
- a Tenant’s Fees Bill – banning landlords from charging ‘letting fees’;
- a High-Speed Two Bill – authorising the second leg of the rail link from Birmingham to Crewe; and
- A Data Protection Bill – strengthening individuals’ rights and introducing a ‘right to be forgotten’.
Reactions to the Queen’s Speech have been mixed.
Theresa May chose to use this ‘moment of national change’ to call upon MPs to unite and work for a fairer country whilst Corbyn pointed out that many key manifesto pledges had been dropped and that the government had ‘apparently run out of ideas altogether’.