This House of Lords Library Briefing has been published ahead of days 1 and 2 of the Lords debate on the Queen’s Speech, covering the following subjects: exiting the European Union, trade, foreign affairs and defence.
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The briefing identifies key bills that may be announced in the Queen’s Speech. This is based on existing government commitments foreshadowing such legislation and press reports. Additional bills may be announced not covered in this briefing. Details vary but at the time of writing possible government bills include:
- A withdrawal agreement bill, to implement domestically, ahead of subsequent treaty ratification, any Brexit deal struck with the EU.
- A bill to provide a compensation scheme for armed forces personnel injured, or the families of those killed, on combat operations.
- A bill to provide legal protections for armed forces personnel and veterans serving in operations outside the UK.
Several Brexit bills were lost at the close of the previous parliamentary session on 8 October 2019, having not been carried over. These included bills concerning trade, immigration, fisheries and agriculture. It is unclear whether these bills will be reintroduced and in what format. The Government has said it is “satisfied that all the bills that are needed prior to leaving the European Union on 31 October are in place”.
To provide additional background and a flavour of the Government’s priorities, the briefing also explores some recent developments in each policy area, highlighting relevant government announcements where policy positions are known. On trade matters, the Government has made announcements on tariff regimes and freeports. It has also announced secondary legislation has been drafted that would impose a sanctions regime for human rights abuses under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. Commitments on shipbuilding have also been made.