Heather Jameson 14 October 2019

Queen's Speech 19: Brexit, health and devo at the heart of Government plans

Queens Speech 19: Brexit, health and devo at the heart of Government plans image

Brexit, the NHS and devolution are at the heart of the next round of Government legislation as outlined in the first Queen’s Speech today.

Housing safety post-Grenfell, voter ID rollout and measures to tackle the rising tide of violent crimes also featured in the first full legislative programme since 2017.

In her speech opening Parliament, the Queen told MPs and Lords: ‘A white paper will be published to set out my Government’s ambitions for unleashing regional potential in England, and to enable decisions that affect local people to be made at a local level.’

The speech was dominated by measures to deal with Brexit, including a European Union [Withdrawal Agreement] Bill. Other Brexit legislation included bills on fisheries and agriculture, immigration and financial services.

In an effort to boost the economy after leaving the EU, the Queen’s Speech also held details of a National Infrastructure Strategy, with plans for faster broadband in a telecoms bill, as well as the devolution bill to boost the regions.

The NHS is set to have an independent body to investigate serious healthcare incidents, and a mental health act. The speech also vowed to bring forward proposals to reform adult social care.

A raft of measure to crack down on crime were included, with a new duty on public sector bodies to work together address serious violence, and a Bill to tackle Domestic Abuse.

Plans to tackle climate change amid the growing protests including an Environment Bill. The Queen said: ‘My ministers remain committed to protecting and improving the environment for future generations. For the first time, environmental principles will be enshrined in the law. Measures will be introduced to improve air quality, tackle plastics pollution and restore habitats so plans and wildlife can thrive.’

Writing in the foreword of the Queen’s Speech documentation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘The mission of this Government is nothing less than making our country the greatest place on earth. The Greatest place to live, to work and to do business. And this Queen’s Speech will set us firmly on that course.’

Other bills include:

  • A Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • A Sentencing Bill
  • A Prisoners (Disclosure of Information) Bill
  • A Police Protection Bill
  • An Extradition Bill
  • A Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
  • A Pensions Scheme Bill
  • An Employment (allocation of tips) Bill
  • An Animal Welfare Bill
The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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