The Queen’s Speech 2022: A Quick Overview

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – As he gave the Queen’s Speech, Prince Charles outlined the priorities of the government for the next year.

After the Queen dropped out owing to difficulties with her health, he stood in for her at the ceremony to officially reopen Parliament.

Some of the 38 measures that ministers plan to pass this year were mentioned in the speech.

Some measures from the Parliament’ last session, which ended last month, are included. It also covers bills mentioned in previous Queen’s Speeches. 

The important points are summarised here

  • The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will grant local governments additional planning powers, including the ability to compel landlords in England to rent out vacant businesses in order to revitalise main streets.
  • A Harbours (Remuneration for Seafarers) Bill, following a debate over P&O Ferries, will give British ports the ability to prohibit ferry services that do not pay their personnel the national minimum wage.
  • A Transport Bill will establish Great British Railways, a new state-run agency that will control train services across the UK.
  • A Non-Domestic Rating Bill will propose changes to business rates, the property tax paid by businesses.
  • The High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill gives new authority to build and run the second stage of the HS2 high-speed rail route (Crewe-Manchester) Bill
  • The Online Safety Bill is a massive piece of legislation that fulfils the government’s promise to properly regulate the content on the internet.
  • The planned privatisation of Channel 4 will be made possible by a new Media Bill, which would also allow Ofcom to oversee on-demand streaming services.
  • The EU’s data protection laws will be replaced with a Data Reform Bill.
  • To facilitate further digitalisation of trade-related documents, the Electronic Trade Documents Bill was introduced.

Justice and security

  • A Public Order Bill, which was stalled by the House of Lords earlier this year, will provide police greater powers to deal with unruly protests.
  • The National Security Bill will grant the security services new powers and alter the UK’s laws on official secrets protection.
  • A draft Victims’ Bill will put into action a long-promised plan to give crime victims new rights.

Brexit and the constitution 

  • Ministers will be given additional powers under the Brexit Freedoms Bill to modify EU regulations that were copied over after the UK left the EU.
  • A new Bill of Rights will fulfil a long-standing Tory promise to replace the Human Rights Act’s provisions.
  • The speech mentions the Good Friday Agreement but does not identify specific measures that would give ministers additional authority to pull up the Northern Ireland Protocol.
  • However, according to the BBC, a bill could be submitted at a later date.

Schools and education

  • A new Schools Bill will empower England’s education regulator to crack down on unregistered schools and mandate attendance logs.
  • The Higher Education Bill will make a commitment to provide loans to students at any stage of their lives.
  • The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill will give English universities additional legal obligations to protect free speech on campus.
  • A Conversion Therapy bill prohibits homosexual and bisexual people from receiving conversion therapy.
  • Ministers are concerned about unexpected repercussions for parents, schools, and therapists, so it will not cover transgender people.

Environment, Climate, and Energy

  • New measures aimed at generating renewable energy and promoting a market for electric heat pumps will be included in an Energy Security Bill.
  • An Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, to  combat puppy smuggling, will impose new animal welfare requirements and powers.
  • However, the long-awaited Animals Abroad Bill, which would prohibit hunting trophies from being imported, is not included.
  • The bill was supposed to include a ban on fur and foie gras imports, but the idea was thwarted by cabinet opposition.
  • Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill will loosen regulations on genetically modified crops.

Finance and regulation

  • Corporate Transparency and Economic Crime Bill will strengthen Companies House’s investigative powers in order to improve corporate transparency.
  • The Procurement Bill will replace EU rules governing how the government purchases private-sector services.
  • The Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Bill will prevent government agencies from imposing their own boycotts on foreign countries.

What more was included in the speech?

  • A draft Mental Health Bill to restructure England and Wales’ mental health system
  • A Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill will limit future prosecutions of British soldiers and allow families new access to information about deaths related to the Troubles.

A bill called the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill will provide the government the authority to implement trade agreements with those two countries.

Ashton Perry

Ashton Perry is a former Birmingham BSc graduate professional with six years critical writing experience. With specilisations in journalism focussed writing on climate change, politics, buisness and other news. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and media freedom, Ashton works to provide everyone with unbiased news.