House of Commons Library

Queen's Speech 2016

Published Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This Commons Library Briefing Paper identifies issues and bills that may appear in the Queen’s Speech, which will outline the Government's legislative programme for the 2016-17 Session of Parliament.

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The Queen’s Speech at the beginning of the 2016-17 Session will take place on Wednesday 18 May 2016.

The State Opening of Parliament marks the beginning of the parliamentary session. Its main purpose is for the monarch formally to open Parliament and, in the Queen’s Speech, deliver an outline of the Government's proposed policies and legislation for the coming session of Parliament.

This note identifies issues and bills that may appear in the Queen’s Speech. Section 2 reviews legislation that has already been introduced and carried over; has been published, or is expected to be published, in draft, in the current Session; was announced in the Queen’s Speech in May 2015, but has not been proceeded with so far; or was previously published in draft (draft bills that have subsequently been introduced and carried over are recorded twice).  Section 3 reports statements or press speculation indicating that a particular issue is likely to be the subject of future legislation.

Bills in progress

The following bills are being carried over from the 2015-16 Session:

  • Policing and Crime Bill 2015-16;
  • Investigatory Powers Bill 2015-16;
  • High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill 2015-16 (hybrid bill); and
  • Finance (No 2) Bill 2015-16.

Three draft bills were published in 2015-16:

  • Draft Investigatory Powers Bill – the Bill was introduced and carried over;
  • Draft Wales Bill; and
  • Draft Energy Bill.

Three bills were announced in the May 2015 Queen’s Speech but not introduced. Legislation in these areas is still expected by ministers:

  • Buses;
  • Extremism; and
  • Votes for Life.

A draft bill Public Service Ombudsman Bill and proposals for a British Bill of Rights were both announced but neither were published.

Potential subjects of legislation

The following issues are potential subjects of legislation:

  • Schools policy
    • Academies schools
    • School funding reform
    • Careers advice
  • Higher Education
  • Adoption
  • Homelessness
  • Guardianship
  • Civil registration: Mother’s details on marriage certificates
  • Combatting tax evasion
  • Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Planning matters
    • Compulsory purchase
    • Garden Cities, Towns and Villages
    • Planning conditions
    • National Infrastructure Commission
  • Railways
  • Privatisation of the Land Registry
  • Local Government Finance
  • Electoral administration
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • NHS charges for overseas voters
  • Wildlife (Law Commission Bill)
  • Prisons (draft legislation)
  • Legislation to implement the Strathclyde Review
  • Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7567

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: Central government, Parliament

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