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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 bill implementing a recommendation of the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices to clarify the employment status test.
  • An environment bill, building on the draft bill published last year and including measures intended to reduce avoidable plastic waste and improve air quality.
  • An agriculture bill to provide a framework to pay subsidies to UK farmers post-Brexit. A fisheries bill may also be announced.

Several bills were lost at the close of the previous parliamentary session on 8 October 2019, having not been carried over. These included two bills concerning non-domestic ratings and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill. The Government has said it remains committed to recognising animal sentience in UK law post-Brexit but has not said whether it intends to pursue this through the Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill, published in draft in December 2017. The High Speed Rail (West Midlands–Crewe) Bill was carried over, but the future of the HS2 project is currently subject to review.

To provide context, the briefing gives a snapshot of current economic performance across several indicators. It also sets out the key announcements made in the spending round in September. In his speech, the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, announced there would be increases in spending across all government departments. Following the announcement, doubt has been expressed by some as to whether the spending round was consistent with existing fiscal rules.

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