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Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence

Published Thursday, May 12, 2016

The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen’s Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.

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Specific legislative proposals relating to foreign policy, international development and defence have not been foreshadowed in the run-up to the Queen’s Speech. In April 2016, the Government announced it no longer intended to enshrine in law the necessity of consulting Parliament on military action, legislation previously proposed by the Coalition Government in 2011.

This briefing gives an overview of the Government’s priorities for foreign affairs, international development and defence as set out in strategy documents such as the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review and the UK Aid Strategy, both published in November 2015. It gives details of selected further reading (Library briefings and parliamentary committee reports from both Houses) on more specific areas of foreign, defence and development policy, including on the forthcoming EU referendum, scheduled to take place on 23 June. It also gives brief details of forthcoming defence issues, including a promised debate on the Government’s plans for a new generation of nuclear submarines; a decision on women serving in ground close combat roles; and possible proposals to address the issue of "opportunist" litigation being brought against the armed forces.

This briefing has been prepared in advance of the Queen’s Speech based on Government commitments and speculative reports about what legislative proposals may be included; it does not constitute official information about the Government’s intentions or provide a complete list of bills to be announced.

Available separately are further briefings for each day’s debate on the Queen’s Speech. For further reading or more detailed information, Members are encouraged to contact the Library’s Research Desk.

 

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.