The Queen’s Speech: Brexit Bills Dominate Government Agenda
By admin June 21, 2017

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During her speech to open Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II, proposed numerous bills and laws to prepare for the British exit from the European Union (Brexit). As the surprise results from the recent election pushed the British government towards uncertainty, the Queen’s proposals pushed for unity.

The Brexit bills outlined by the Queen was toned down compared to what Prime Minister Theresa May had originally hoped for due to her loss of Parliamentary majority in the election. The most important of the proposals is the Repeal Bill which will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. An Immigration Bill was also proposed which would end the free movement of all EU member countries in and out of the UK. A Fisheries Bill and Agriculture Bill will give the UK back its rights over the water and land, and will be assisted by a domestic customs regime which will allow the UK to regulate its tariffs and import taxes. The purpose of the Brexit bills is to guarantee a smoother transition out of the EU.

Of the 27 bills proposed, eight related to Brexit and its impact on immigration. From the 19 non-Brexit bills, six are noted of significant importance. They include the following:

• A Civil Liability Bill which addresses motor insurance claims.
• A Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill which establishes a Commissioner that oversees the action and response of domestic violence crimes.
• A Tenants Fee Bill which does away with letting fees from landlords. Letting fees are those charged by intermediaries between a landlord and a tenant to negotiate rental agreements.
• A High Speed Two Bill which authorizes an expansion of the railroad system.
• A Data Protection Bill which protects individual rights and privacy on the internet.
• An Armed Forces Bill which allows people to serve in the military part time.

Many of the non-Brexit proposals are meant to strengthen individual security and safety, although a few such as the Electric Vehicle Bill, Space Industry Bill, and High Speed Rails Bill were proposed to boost the economy.

Although the Queen’s speech is a long-standing custom to opening Parliament, this occasion was far from customary primarily due to the recent elections. Normally the Queen would arrive in a horse drawn carriage, this time she arrived in a car. There was no royal procession through the House of Lords chambers. It can be argued that the somber and uncertain mood in the UK led to the lack of formality for the event.

Overall the Queens speech was directed towards a changing UK. The Queen tried to calm the divisions that had emerged due to the prior two elections. Her speech foreshadows what is to come in the British legislative system and general society but it also creates hope that unity can emerge out of division.

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