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Scotland Office - Queen's Speech 2017: What it means for Scotland

Last week, Her Majesty The Queen delivered the 2017 Queen’s Speech. It set out the government’s agenda for the coming session.

This Queen’s Speech is about recognising and grasping the opportunities that lie ahead for the United Kingdom as we leave the European Union:

  • Delivering a Brexit deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom.
  • Building a stronger, fairer country by strengthening our economy, tackling injustice and promoting opportunity and aspiration.

Of the 24 bills and draft bills in the Queen’s Speech, 19 apply in whole or in part to Scotland.

The bills/draft bills which apply in full or part to Scotland are:

  • Repeal Bill
  • Customs Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Immigration Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Agriculture Bill
  • Nuclear Safeguards Bill
  • International Sanctions Bill
  • Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill
  • Space Industry Bill
  • Smart Meter Bill
  • National Insurance Contributions Bill
  • Travel Protection Bill
  • Financial Guidance and Claims Bill
  • Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Bill
  • Data Protection Bill
  • European Union (Approvals) Bill
  • Courts Bill
  • High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill (technically applies to Scotland but concerns the Fradley-Crewe route)

The bills/draft bills which do not apply to Scotland are:

  • Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill
  • Draft Patient Safety Bill
  • Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill
  • Civil Liability Bill
  • Goods Mortgages Bill – a Law Commission bill (final extent subject to further development)

In addition the programme will include three UK Finance Bills to implement budget policy decisions.

Key points on some of the Bills applying to Scotland in full or in part:

Repeal Bill

This Bill would allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after exit, maximising certainty for people and businesses.

Trade Bill

The Bill would cement the United Kingdom’s status as a leading trading nation, driving positive global change through trade, while ensuring UK businesses are protected from unfair trading practices. The Bill would put in place the essential legislative framework to allow the UK to operate its own independent trade policy upon exit from the European Union.

Immigration Bill

With the repeal of the European Communities Act, it will be necessary to establish new powers concerning the immigration status of EEA nationals. The Bill would allow the government to control the number of people coming here from Europe, while still allowing us to attract the brightest and the best.

Space Industry Bill

The UK has one of the largest aerospace industries in the world and has pioneered new technology for modern satellites. The Bill would boost British business and science by making the UK the most attractive place in Europe for commercial spaceflight.

Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

The Bill would ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of developing new technology in electric and automated road vehicles.

Commenting on the speech, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

This Queen’s Speech is about bringing our United Kingdom closer together and fully grasping the opportunities ahead for the whole country as we leave the EU.

The UK Government’s legislative programme will help keep our country safe, enhance our standing in the world and make a success of our exit - as a first step repatriating into UK law powers currently held in Brussels, and ensuring a secure and prosperous future for our farming and fishing industries.

We will consult and listen, working with the UK Parliament, businesses, the devolved administrations and others to ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU.

We will bring powers back in a way that works best for Scotland and the rest of the UK. There will undoubtedly be more decision-making powers coming to Holyrood, and I look forward to working closely with the Scottish Government on this.

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