The Queen's Speech, which takes place as part of the State Opening of Parliament, sets out the Government's legislative agenda for the coming year.
This year, the Government laid out a bold agenda with the economic recovery from the pandemic, the Union of the United Kingdom and the green revolution at the centre.
The speech set out how the Government will beat COVID-19 and back the NHS by:
- Continuing our lifesaving Vaccine Programme - the biggest in NHS history - with a booster programme in the Autumn.
- Prioritising the recovery in NHS services to deliver the care that people need.
- Bringing forward the the Health and Care Bill, which will lay the foundations for a more integrated and efficient health and care system.
- Proposing comprehensive social care reform in 2021 to ensure that every person receives care that provides the dignity and security they deserve.
- Addressing the impact of the pandemic on mental health and wellbeing.
The Speech also included details of how the Government will build back better, with a variety of measures for jobs and economic recovery by:
- Unleashing the full potential of people and places across the country, through a boost to jobs, growth and innovation and opportunities.
- Publishing the landmark Levelling Up White Paper will set out bold new policy interventions to improve livelihoods and opportunity in all parts of the UK as we recover from the pandemic, grasping the opportunities of Brexit.
- Introducing a Skills and Post-16 Education Bill will also transform access to skills across the country to ensure 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.
- Making the UK a global science superpower by developing our Life Sciences sector so it attracts the best people and business from across the world, increasing public expenditure on research and development to £22 billion.
Following our departure from the EU, the Government will introduce a number of significant regulatory reforms that allow us to support British business and deliver the UK’s needs, including:
- A Subsidy Control Bill that will implement a domestic UK subsidy control regime that reflects our strategic interests and national circumstances.
- A Procurement Bill that will consolidate and streamline the 350+ EU derived regulations and make our procurement regime quicker, simpler and easier to use, allowing more freedom for suppliers and the public sector to innovate and work in partnership with the private sector.
- A Professional Qualifications Bill that will create a new bespoke framework for the UK to recognise professional qualifications from across the world to ensure employers can access professionals where there are UK shortages. The Turing Scheme will give young people across the UK, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to work and study globally.
The speech also reaffirms the commitment to building a cleaner and greener UK by:
- Continuing to lead the way globally in acting on climate change, hosting the vital COP26 climate negotiations in November. Our sector strategies and comprehensive Net Zero Strategy will transition the UK to a net zero economy by 2050.
- Setting legally binding targets, restoring nature and biodiversity, tackling air pollution and establishing an independent Office for Environmental Protection, cut plastic use and revolutionise how we recycle.
- Taking the opportunities presented by having left the EU, the Government will demonstrate our world-leading commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare by delivering important animal welfare and conservation improvements, while promoting our values to our trading partners.
The Government will also continue supporting our Armed Forces through:
- The unprecedented programme of funding and modernisation of our Armed Forces, making them fit for the threats of a more competitive age and the opportunities of a Global Britain.
- Delivering on the manifesto commitment to further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law through the Armed Forces Bill.
- The National Insurance Contributions Bill, which will provide a relief for employers of veterans.
Finally, the Queen’s Speech sets out how the Government will strengthen the Union and the constitution by:
- Protecting and promoting the strengths of the United Kingdom; building on hundreds of years of partnership as the most successful political and economic union in history.
- By investing in infrastructure and transport that will increase connectivity between all four nations of the UK.
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