Queen delivers priorities for government in Queens Speech

The Queen has outlined the legislative plans for year ahead, declaring her Queens Speech from the throne of House of Lords.

Her majesty began by saying that the government’s priority ‘has always been to secure the UK’s departure from the European Union on 31 October’, stressing that the government is seeking a new partnership with the EU, based on free trade.

Moving aside from Brexit, she said that an immigration bill, ending free movement, will be introduced.

Steps will be taken to deliver stability in financial services, with the Queen stressing that the government’s new economic plan will be underpinned by a new fiscal strategy.

Discussing the NHS, she said that ‘measures will be brought forward to support and strengthen the National Health Service, its workforce and resources, enabling it to deliver the highest quality care’. There will also be plans to reform adult social care.

On addressing violent crime, new sentencing laws will be introduced, she said, and measures will improve the handling of foreign national offenders. As previously mooted, there will be measures to improve prison safety and to help victims.

On government plans to ‘set out a long term vision to improve the nation's digital, transport and energy infrastructure, the Queen reiterated Boris Johnson’s plan to introduce legislation to ensure the delivery of fast, reliable broadband to millions of homes, as well as an aviation bill, and proposals on railway reform.

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

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive, LGiU said: “While we welcome the promises of further devolution to local government and a long awaited social care white paper in today’s Queen’s Speech, we will unfortunately have to add them to the long list of items that successive governments have promised and not delivered for councils. For too long, devolution, social care and local finance reform have continued to be pushed to the sidelines and given the back seat to Brexit. However, we hope today’s announcements are not just empty words.

“With local government at the forefront in providing so many of the necessary services across our communities, any further delay on social care reform will be detrimental to lives up and down this country. A devolution White Paper by Christmas would be a real gift to the sector and one that is so needed to ensure local decisions are made by local communities.”