Queen's Speech: What are the announcements that impact Scotland?

The Queen's speech was delivered on Tuesday, setting out the agenda for the UK government in the coming parliamentary term.

Delivered by Prince Charles in the absence of the Queen, it featured a total of 38 Bills, of which 27 apply in full or in part to Scotland.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack claimed it was a Queen’s Speech that “delivers for Scotland” and showed “leadership”.

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He said: “Measures in the Queen’s Speech will help us grow our economy, so we can continue to recover from the pandemic, tackle the rising cost of living and level up across the country.

The Prince of Wales reads the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament

“We will bring in a range of measures to make our country safer, from tackling state-sponsored espionage, to cracking down on modern slavery.

“We will show leadership with a series of ambitious reforms which will support citizens across the United Kingdom.

“We will continue to maximise the benefits of Brexit with legislation to cement our fantastic trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, and remove outdated EU laws. Outside of the EU, the UK will continue to prosper and thrive.”

But what are the Bills that impact Scotland?

Animal Welfare (Kept Animals)

This Bill was announced in the last parliamentary term, but has been carried over.

It bans the export of livestock for both fattening and slaughter, as well as offering new ways to tackle pet abduction and puppy smuggling.

Bill of Rights

Legislation to give UK law supremacy over the EU court of human rights in Strasbourg, which would impact cases from the Scottish Court refereed to the UK Supreme Court.

Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Bill

Timely in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, this aims to stop taxpayer-funded companies from taking a different approach to the UK Government on sanctions and foreign relations.

Brexit Freedoms Bill

The Government says the Bill will make it easier to update or remove any "retained EU Law" used a bridging measure after Brexit. It is opposed by the Scottish Government, which has said it will try and prevent any Brexit-related Bills passing into Scots law.

Data Reform Bill

Promises to protect everyone’s personal data, but also allows public services to share it.

Draft Audit Reform Bill

The legislation will introduce a new regulator to protect investors and aims to better safeguard the UK against risks to jobs, pensions, and suppliers from unexpected company collapses.

Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill

Will protect consumers from online scams by banning fake online reviews, and handing the Competition and Markets Authority more powers to take “swift and decisive action”.

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Draft Protect Duty Bill

Imposes duties on those in control of public places to put in place “appropriate and proportionate” measures to protect the public from terrorism, and comes following the Manchester Arena bombing.

Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill

The Bill will tackle economic crime, including fraud and money-laundering, by providing greater protections for consumers and businesses.

Coming as a response to the Ukraine crisis, it will include identity verification for people who manage, own and control companies and other UK registered entities.

Electronic Trade Documents Bill

This will put electronic trade documents on the same legal footing as paper documents, removing the need for paperwork.

Energy Security Bill

This aims to increase the country’s energy security by “supporting low-carbon energy systems” and reducing gas dependency.

These new measures could see a reconsideration or extension of the plans to develop more carbon capture clusters across the UK, and also opens the possibility of an extension of the energy price cap.

Financial Services and Markets Bill

Promises to cut red tape and reform the rules that regulate the UK’s capital markets to promote investment.

Harbours (Seafarers’ Remuneration) Bill

Nicknamed the P&O Bill after the recent scandal, it will “ensure all ferry crews receive a fair wage” while working in UK waters or operating on a regular basis both to and from UK ports.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Mainly applying in England and Wales, in Scotland it will require the Government to set out “levelling up missions” and produce annual reports on delivery.

Media Bill

Allows the privatisation of Channel 4, as well as giving Ofcom new powers which will impose stricter rules on streaming companies to protect viewers from harmful content.

Modern Slavery Bill

Aims to reduce modern slavery in supply chains through increased transparency from businesses and public bodies, and gives law enforcement agencies more powers.

National Security Bill

Reforms the Official Secrets Act to create a new register of foreign agents, as well as restricting the ability of convicted terrorists to receive civil legal aid.

Online Safety Bill

Hopes to prevent online fraud and tackle illegal content such as child sexual exploitation, and also updates laws to tackle threatening communications, criminalise cyber-flashing and stop tech companies from arbitrarily removing content.

Procurement Bill

Will allow central and local government bodies to prioritise smaller UK-based companies for public contracts.

Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill

Ensures that manufacturers, importers and distributors can only sell smart devices that meet stricter security standards.

Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life)

Allows the terminally ill who have 12 months or less to live to have their benefits applications fast-tracked. The time period was previously six months.

Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill

Will allow the UK to implement its first “from scratch” Free Trade Agreement.

Transport Bill

Will set up Great British Railways, a new state-owned holding company for the UK's rail infrastructure.

UK Infrastructure Bank Bill

Finalises the creation of the UK Infrastructure Bank by establishing it in law, with clear objectives to support regional and local economic growth and deliver net zero.

Social Housing Regulation Bill

Allows the Regulator of Social Housing to better stand up for social housing tenants, inspect properties and act as the ultimate standards watchdog.

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