Yesterday at the State Opening of Parliament the Queen delivered her address outlining the legislative agenda of the Conservative Government for the forthcoming parliamentary session. This is the first all-Conservative Queen’s Speech since 1996.
The State Opening takes place on the first day of a new parliamentary session, or shortly after a general election, and is the main ceremonial event of the parliamentary calendar.
In total there are 26 bills. These include:-
- EU Referendum Bill – to begin the arrangements for an in/out vote on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.
- Scotland Bill – to give the Scottish Parliament new tax and welfare powers. This bill will follow the recommendations of the Smith Commission on Scottish devolution.
- Investigatory Powers Bill – to give new powers to intelligence agencies to monitor and access communications data.
Following the Queen’s speech the House of Commons returns to its Chambers, the House of Lords is cleared, and the Debate of the Address begins: five days of debate on the content of the speech.
For any further information on UK Government procedure or legislation contact the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit on level 7 of the Library.