The Queen made a speech in the House of Lords on Wednesday. In her speech was the government's plans on what they want to do over the next two years (would usually be one year, but Prime Minister Theresa May cancelled next year's Queen's Speech). Over the next week, Parliament will debate the Queen's Speech and vote on it. If the government loses the vote, then this is considered a vote of no confidence in the government, though a proper vote of no confidence may need to be passed before the government calls a new general election. However, it's unlikely that the government would lose the vote on the Queen's Speech, because they're forging a deal with the DUP, who have enough seats for them to win the vote.
In this particular Queen's Speech, there was
no mention of plans to end free school lunches and replace them with
breakfasts in primary schools, repeal the Fixed-Terms Parliaments Act
(which would allow the Prime Minister to call an election whenever they
want without the permission of Parliament), introducing a 'dementia tax'
to pay for social care, and no mention of a bill allowing new grammar
schools or plans for a free vote on lifting the fox hunting ban. All of
these things were in the Conservative manifesto (their plans of what
they would do after the election) but seem to have been abandoned by the
minority Conservative government - presumably because they don't think
they could've passed these measures, some of them (all of them?)
controversial, through Parliament.
In the Queen's Speech were,
however, lots of measures to ensure that the UK can function after
Brexit, with powers that were held by the European Union now to be held
by the UK. A series of bills were announced to ensure that the UK uses
these new powers - on customs, trade, immigration, fisheries,
agriculture, nuclear safeguards, and international sanctions. Announced
plans for the economy were to ensure that there are electric car
charging points in all motorway service stations and major fuel
retailers, plans to allow more commercial spaceflights, plans on HS2,
smart energy meters, simplify national insurance contributions, improve
protection for holidaymakers, protect victims of domestic violence and
abuse, crackdown on untrue whiplash claims and thus reduce motor
insurance premiums, changes to how the courts work, creating a body
responsible for coordinating the provision of debt advice, money
guidance and pension guidance, give young people the right to require
that social media platforms delete information held about them before
they turned 18, and there are plans to set up an NHS body to investigate
mistakes without an expensive lawyer-led inquiry.
On defence, the
government proposes new opportunities for the army to serve in a way
that helps them to better serve their family and that fits better with
their life aspirations and their circumstances. Part-time service is
included in this. On housing, the government pledges to ban letting
fees, update mortgage laws from Victorian times. There are a few other
miscellaneous bills planned too.
What do you think of the government's programme? Comment below!