Promising to “strengthen economic ties across the Union” and invest in Scotland, the speech outlines the priorities of Boris Johnson’s Government.
The measure that affect Scotland
Here are all the bills and measures that will directly impact Scotland from a speech big on promises, but light on substance:
- The Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill will fund high-risk, high-reward research giving more space for failure;
- Ministers are also introducing the Armed Forces Bill, which keeps them existing and boosts the service justice system;
- The Building Safety Bill establishes a regulator to bring a new approach and also implements recommendations made from an independent review of building and fire safety regulations;
- A Counter-State Threats Bill aims to give the security services and law enforcement agencies more tools to tackle hostile activity by foreign states and foreign actors. Security is also the target of the Telecommunications (Security) Bill, which promises to protect the UK networks;
- The Dormant Assets Bill will provide around an additional £880 million for social and environmental initiatives across the UK;
- Freeports also stem from the National Insurance Contributions Bill, with discussions ongoing to make the “benefits” UK wide;
- The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill aims to extend 5G coverage, while the Professional Qualifications Bill promises to help employers find workers across the UK when facing shortages;
- The Procurement Bill simplifies regulations to make it easier for the public sector, and the Subsidy Control Bill promises to give support for businesses that "reflects" the UK's interests;
- The Online Safety Bill also seeks to better protect children online and make the internet safe for all;
- The UK Government also reiterated its commitment to the Union in a policy document, saying it would build on “hundreds of years of partnership between the regions of our country as the most successful political and economic union in history, the foundation upon which all our businesses and citizens are able to thrive and prosper”;
- The speech also outlined plans for a potential “vaccine booster campaign” later this year. This would see the UK Government work with vaccine suppliers to work out which vaccines could be effective as a Covid-19 booster , and to design new vaccines specifically targeted at variants of concern.
Scottish Secretary on the benefits
Speaking after the Queen’s Speech, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “This is a Queen’s Speech which delivers for people in Scotland, and right across the United Kingdom, as we focus entirely on recovering our economy and our public services from the devastating effects of the Covid pandemic.
“The UK Government will continue to lead our recovery from the pandemic, as we Build Back Better and level up opportunities right across the UK.
“We will continue to support top level R&D, encourage our businesses to innovate, and create vital new and green jobs. We will invest directly in Scotland’s communities, building on the success of our £1.5 billion City Deals programme with freeports, better connectivity, and a new UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
“And Scotland’s businesses will continue to benefit as, outside of the EU, we strike new trade deals around the world."