Yesterday (12 May) in Parliament the Queen outlined the government’s priorities for the year ahead, as she officially reopened Parliament.
The new legislative programme is focused on supporting the nation’s recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Among the 30 new laws announced were:
- Legislation to establish a fairer immigration system that strengthens our borders and deters criminals who facilitate dangerous and illegal journeys by migrants across the English Channel.
- The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to accelerate the rollout of 5G mobile and gigabit broadband.
- Improvements to animal welfare, including banning the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter, mandatory microchipping for cats, and recognising animal sentience.
- Repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, in order to reinstate the constitutional principle that the Government of the day has the confidence of Parliament and is able to seek a fresh democratic mandate when it is needed.
- A Skills and Post-16 Education Bill to transform access to skills across the country, ensuring that people can train and retrain at any stage in their lives, supporting them to move into higher quality, higher skilled jobs and equipping the workforce with the skills employers need.
Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, watched the Queen’s Speech from the Special Gallery in Parliament before speaking in the House of Commons Chamber during the Debate on the Address.
He welcomed the “constructive and comprehensive” approach the Government is taking, and primarily focused on the measures for education, especially on skills and post-16 training and education, and ending fixed-term Parliaments. In particular, he strongly supported the skills revolution to “support the nation’s recovery from the ongoing pandemic, while building on the progress made so far to level up the country and ensure equal opportunities for all people, wherever they live”.
Sir David concluded by commenting that: “The issues people are concerned about are being dealt with in this Queen’s Speech, and it will pave the way for us to build back better, putting jobs, skills and businesses at the heart of our recovery. It is the way forward. I commend the Queen’s Speech”.