New legislation: what is in the Queen’s Speech?

The State Opening of Parliament, with scaled back pageantry due to covid, is scheduled to take place on 11 May 2021.

The State Opening marks the beginning of the parliamentary session. Its main purpose is for the monarch formally to open Parliament and, in the Queen’s Speech, outline the Government’s proposed policies and legislation for the coming parliamentary session.

The House of Commons Library has produced a Report identifying those Bills which are already before Parliament, having been carried over from the previous session, as well as Bills which have specifically been announced by Ministers, and an additional list of measures about which there has been media speculation.

The full Report can be found here.

Which bills are in progress?

The following bills have been the subject of carry-over motions in the House of Commons in the 2019-21 Session:

Two draft bills were published in 2019-21. These are the:

  • Draft Building Safety Bill; and
  • Draft Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill.

A draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill was published in December 2016 and may still be proceeded with.

Some bills that were announced in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech were not taken forward but may appear in the coming session. These are:

  • Employment Bill;
  • Health and Social Care Bill;
  • Online Harms Bill;
  • Registration of Overseas Entities Bill;
  • Renters’ Reform Bill;
  • Foreign national offenders legislation; and
  • Espionage legislation.

Potential subjects of legislation in the Report and otherwise identified include:

The following issues are potential subjects of legislation:

  • Technical issues in Charity Law
  • National Insurance holiday for employers of veterans
  • Planning reform in England
  • Ground rents on future lease agreements
  • Reform of terminal illness rules in benefits
  • Strengthening freedom of speech in universities
  • Reform of the Mental Health Act
  • Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth
  • Adult social care reform
  • Unregistered providers of children’s social care
  • Northern Ireland: legislation to implement the Stormont House agreement and address the investigation and prosecution of historical offences in relation to The Troubles
  • Public procurement reform
  • New subsidy control regime
  • Overhauling the UK’s asylum system and approach to illegal immigration
  • Ending anomalies in British nationality law
  • Electoral integrity
  • Business rate appeals
  • Public service pensions
  • Animal Sentience
  • Animals Abroad
  • National Security
  • Planning

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More on Parliament can be found here.