• In Focus

    Political opinion polls: Should there be greater oversight?

    The House of Lords Liaison Committee has updated the findings of an earlier ad hoc Lords committee on the issues arising for UK politics from political opinion polling. The Liaison Committee welcomed recent advances in polling techniques and information prepared by the polling industry on how to interpret polls. However, it concluded that the case for greater oversight of polling remained a matter for debate.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Brexit—Retained EU law and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

    The Government is planning to make significant changes to the legal status of retained EU law and the post-Brexit regulatory landscape. This would be through a ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’ and standalone legislation in areas such as procurement and data protection. There is also speculation the Government may introduce a bill to override parts of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Economic affairs and business

    The war in Ukraine has caused a further shock to the UK economy, leading to increases in inflation from levels that were already high due to the recovery from the pandemic. Government policy responses have focused on reducing the cost of living. The Government has also made a range of legislative commitments relating to the economy and business that are likely to feature in this year’s Queen’s Speech, including measures on workers’ rights, financial services regulation and competition policy.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Welfare and pensions

    This article looks at possible announcements in the upcoming Queen’s Speech relating to pensions and benefits. No major piece of welfare or pensions legislation has been pre-announced by the Government. However, it has committed to introduce measures that may require primary or secondary legislation. These include: reintroducing managed migration to universal credit; reforming the eligibility rules for benefits claimants with terminal illness; and reducing the minimum age for pensions auto-enrolment.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Devolved affairs

    The Government has argued that devolution has “empowered communities” and provided “huge benefits across the United Kingdom”. Its stated aim is to continue to collaborate with the devolved administrations, “work[ing] together to deliver for the British people”. This article discusses some of the key issues in devolved affairs that may be addressed in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Foreign affairs, defence, and international development

    This year’s Queen’s Speech takes place at a time of severe international tension, with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine dominating the policy agenda. At the same time, conflict in Yemen continues, as do the ramifications of the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan. In defence policy, NATO’s role has come to the fore in the face of Russian aggression, while domestically the UK military continues to undergo significant reform. In international development, focus remains on the UK’s spend on overseas assistance and how it can help those caught up in those conflict zones and elsewhere.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Energy and climate change

    The Government has committed to reduce UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and improve the security of the UK’s energy supply. It has said it intends to improve strategic planning in the UK’s electricity and gas infrastructure through the establishment of an independent future system operator. It has also said it will introduce measures intended to increase the use of hydrogen gas and carbon capture technology in the UK energy sector.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Transport

    The next Queen’s Speech, in which the Government will set out its legislative programme for the new parliamentary session, will be delivered on 10 May 2022. The speech is expected to include several measures concerning transport. These include: strengthening the regulation of payment of seafarers; continuing with the development of high speed rail; establishing a new rail body; regulating the sale of e-scooters; and providing for driverless cars.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Agriculture, the natural environment and animal welfare

    The 2019 Conservative Party manifesto included commitments to protect the natural environment and improve animal welfare. However, the Government has yet to fulfil its manifesto commitment to introduce legislation banning imports of hunting trophies. The Government has proposed changes to the ways in which natural landscapes are managed following the 2019 landscapes review. It has also said it is considering measures to permit greater use of some gene-edited organisms in agriculture.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Justice

    The Queen’s Speech is taking place on 10 May 2022. This will set out the Government’s legislative and policy programme for the new parliamentary session. This article provides a summary of legislative and policy proposals for justice, including a draft victims bill and parole system reform.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Constitution

    The Queen’s Speech is taking place on 10 May 2022. This will set out the Government’s legislative and policy programme for the new parliamentary session. This briefing provides a summary of legislative proposals concerning the constitution and other announcements that may be included in the speech.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Home affairs

    The Queen’s Speech is due to take place on 10 May 2022. The Government will use the speech to outline its plans for the new parliamentary session. This article considers what home affairs related announcements the Government might make, including plans for new legislation relating to counter-state threats and economic crime, and amendments to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.