Queen Elizabeth II – 2016 Queen’s Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by HM Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords on 18 May 2016.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons.

My government will use the opportunity of a strengthening economy to deliver security for working people, to increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and to strengthen national defences.

My ministers will continue to bring the public finances under control so that Britain lives within its means, and to move to a higher wage and lower welfare economy where work is rewarded.

To support the economic recovery, and to create jobs and more apprenticeships, legislation will be introduced to ensure Britain has the infrastructure that businesses need to grow.

Measures will be brought forward to create the right for every household to access high speed broadband.

Legislation will be introduced to improve Britain’s competitiveness and make the United Kingdom a world leader in the digital economy.

My ministers will ensure the United Kingdom is at the forefront of technology for new forms of transport, including autonomous and electric vehicles.

To spread economic prosperity, my government will continue to support the development of a Northern Powerhouse.

In England, further powers will be devolved to directly elected mayors, including powers governing local bus services.

Legislation will also allow local authorities to retain business rates, giving them more freedom to invest in local communities.

My government will support aspiration and promote home ownership through its commitment to build a million new homes.

Following last week’s Anti-Corruption Summit in London, legislation will be introduced to tackle corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

My government will continue work to deliver NHS services over 7 days of the week in England. Legislation will be introduced to ensure that overseas visitors pay for the health treatment they receive at public expense.

New legislation will be introduced to tackle some of the deepest social problems in society, and improve life chances.

A Bill will be introduced to ensure that children can be adopted by new families without delay, improve the standard of social work and opportunities for young people in care in England.

To tackle poverty and the causes of deprivation, including family instability, addiction and debt, my government will introduce new indicators for measuring life chances. Legislation will be introduced to establish a soft drinks industry levy to help tackle childhood obesity.

Measures will be introduced to help the lowest-income families save, through a new Help to Save scheme, and to create a Lifetime ISA to help young people save for the long-term.

My government will continue to reform public services so they help the hardest-to-reach.

A Bill will be brought forward to lay foundations for educational excellence in all schools, giving every child the best start in life. There will also be a fairer balance between schools, through the National Funding Formula.

To ensure that more people have the opportunity to further their education, legislation will be introduced to support the establishment of new universities and to promote choice and competition across the higher education sector.

My government will legislate to reform prisons and courts to give individuals a second chance.

Prison Governors will be given unprecedented freedom and they will be able to ensure prisoners receive better education. Old and inefficient prisons will be closed and new institutions built where prisoners can be put more effectively to work.

Action will also be taken to ensure better mental health provision for individuals in the criminal justice system.

My government will continue to work to bring communities together and strengthen society.

Legislation will be introduced to prevent radicalisation, tackle extremism in all its forms, and promote community integration.

National Citizen Service will be placed on a permanent statutory footing.

My government will continue to safeguard national security.

My ministers will invest in Britain’s armed forces, honouring the military covenant and meeting the NATO commitment to spend 2% of national income on defence.

They will also act to secure the long-term future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

My government will continue to play a leading role in world affairs, using its global presence to tackle climate change and address major international security, economic and humanitarian challenges.

My government will continue to work to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. It will play a leading role in the campaign against Daesh and to support international efforts to bring peace to Syria through a lasting political settlement.

Britain’s commitment on international development spending will also be honoured, helping to deliver global stability, support the Sustainable Development Goals and prevent new threats to national security.

Prince Philip and I look forward to welcoming His Excellency the President of Colombia on a State Visit in November.

My government will continue with legislation to modernise the law governing the use and oversight of investigatory powers by law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies.

Legislation will strengthen the capability and accountability of the police service in England and Wales.

My government will hold a referendum on membership of the European Union. Proposals will be brought forward for a British Bill of Rights.

My ministers will uphold the sovereignty of Parliament and the primacy of the House of Commons.

My government will continue to work in cooperation with the devolved administrations to implement the extensive new powers in the Scotland Act and establish a strong and lasting devolution settlement in Wales. My government will work in Northern Ireland to secure further progress in implementing the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements.

Members of the House of Commons:

Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

Other measures will be laid before you.

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

Queen Elizabeth II – 2015 Queen’s Speech

queenelizabethii

Below is the text of the speech made by HM Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords on 27 May 2015.

My Lords and members of the House of Commons.

My government will legislate in the interests of everyone in our country. It will adopt a one nation approach, helping working people get on, supporting aspiration, giving new opportunities to the most disadvantaged and bringing different parts of our country together.

My government will continue with its long-term plan to provide economic stability and security at every stage of life. They will continue the work of bringing the public finances under control and reducing the deficit, so Britain lives within its means. Measures will be introduced to raise the productive potential of the economy and increase living standards.

Legislation will be brought forward to help achieve full employment and provide more people with the security of a job. New duties will require my ministers to report annually on job creation and apprenticeships. Measures will also be introduced to reduce regulation on small businesses so they can create jobs.

Legislation will be brought forward to ensure people working 30 hours a week on the National Minimum Wage do not pay income tax, and to ensure there are no rises in Income Tax rates, Value Added Tax or National Insurance for the next 5 years.

Measures will be brought forward to help working people by greatly increasing the provision of free childcare.

Legislation will be introduced to support home ownership and give housing association tenants the chance to own their own home.

Measures will be introduced to increase energy security and to control immigration. My government will bring forward legislation to reform trade unions and to protect essential public services against strikes.

To give new opportunities to the most disadvantaged, my government will expand the Troubled Families programme and continue to reform welfare, with legislation encouraging employment by capping benefits and requiring young people to earn or learn.

Legislation will be brought forward to improve schools and give every child the best start in life, with new powers to take over failing and coasting schools and create more academies.

In England, my government will secure the future of the National Health Service by implementing the National Health Service’s own 5 year plan, by increasing the health budget, integrating healthcare and social care, and ensuring the National Health Service works on a 7 day basis. Measures will be introduced to improve access to general practitioners and to mental healthcare.

Measures will also be brought forward to secure the real value of the basic State Pension, so that more people live in dignity and security in retirement. Measures will be brought forward to increase the rights of victims of crime.

To bring different parts of our country together, my government will work to bring about a balanced economic recovery. Legislation will be introduced to provide for the devolution of powers to cities with elected metro mayors, helping to build a northern powerhouse.

My government will continue to legislate for high-speed rail links between the different parts of the country.

My government will also bring forward legislation to secure a strong and lasting constitutional settlement, devolving wide-ranging powers to Scotland and Wales. Legislation will be taken forward giving effect to the Stormont House Agreement in Northern Ireland.

My government will continue to work in cooperation with the devolved administrations on the basis of mutual respect.

My government will bring forward changes to the standing orders of the House of Commons. These changes will create fairer procedures to ensure that decisions affecting England, or England and Wales, can be taken only with the consent of the majority of Members of Parliament representing constituencies in those parts of our United Kingdom.

My government will renegotiate the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union and pursue reform of the European Union for the benefit of all member states.

Alongside this, early legislation will be introduced to provide for an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union before the end of 2017.

Measures will also be brought forward to promote social cohesion and protect people by tackling extremism. New legislation will modernise the law on communications data, improve the law on policing and criminal justice, and ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs.

My government will bring forward proposals for a British Bill of Rights.

Members of the House of Commons.

Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.

My Lords and members of the House of Commons

My government will continue to play a leading role in global affairs, using its presence all over the world to re-engage with and tackle the major international security, economic and humanitarian challenges.

My ministers will remain at the forefront of the NATO alliance and of international efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat terrorism in the Middle East.

The United Kingdom will continue to seek a political settlement in Syria, and will offer further support to the Iraqi government’s programme for political reform and national reconciliation.

My government will maintain pressure on Russia to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and will insist on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

My government looks forward to an enhanced partnership with India and China.

Prince Philip and I look forward to our state visit to Germany next month and to our state visit to Malta in November, alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. We also look forward to welcoming His Excellency the President of The People’s Republic of China and Madame Peng on a state visit in October.

My government will seek effective global collaboration to sustain economic recovery and to combat climate change, including at the climate change conference in Paris later this year.

My government will undertake a full strategic defence and security review, and do whatever is necessary to ensure that our courageous armed forces can keep Britain safe.

My government will work to reduce the threat from nuclear weapons, cyber attacks and terrorism.

Other measures will be laid before you.

My Lords and members of the House of Commons

I pray that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

Queen Elizabeth II – 1997 Queen’s Speech

queenelizabethii

Below is the text of the speech made by HM Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords on 14 May 1997.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to receiving State Visits by His Excellency the President of Brazil in December and by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan next year. We also look forward to our visit to Canada and to our State Visits to Pakistan and India.

My Government intend to govern for the benefit of the whole nation.

The education of young people will be my Government’s first priority. They will work to raise standards in schools, colleges and universities and to promote lifelong learning at the workplace. They will cut class sizes using money saved as a result of legislation phasing out the assisted places scheme. A further Bill will contain measures to raise educational standards, develop a new role for local education authorities and parents, establish a new framework for the decentralised and equitable organisation of schools, propose reforms to the teaching profession, and respond positively to recommendations from the National Committee of Inquiry into the future of higher education.

The central economic objectives of my Government are high and stable levels of economic growth and employment, to be achieved by ensuring opportunity for all. The essential platform for achieving these objectives is economic stability.

To that end a Bill will be introduced to give the Bank of England operational responsibility for setting interest rates, in order to deliver price stability and support the Government’s overall economic policy, within a framework of enhanced accountability. My Government will also ensure that public borrowing is controlled through tough fiscal rules and that the burden of public debt is kept at a stable and prudent level. They will aim to deliver high and sustainable levels of growth and employment by encouraging investment in industry, skills, infrastructure and new technologies; by reducing long-term unemployment, especially among young people; by promoting competition; and by helping to create successful and profitable business. These policies will enhance Britain’s position as a leading industrial nation.

My Government have pledged to mount a fundamental attack upon youth and long-term unemployment and will take early steps to implement a welfare-to-work programme to tackle unemployment, financed by a levy on the excess profits of the privatised utilities which will be brought forward in an early Budget.

A new partnership with business will be at the heart of my Government’s plans to build a modern and dynamic economy to improve the competitiveness of British industry. They will bring forward legislation to reform and strengthen competition law and introduce a statutory right to interest on late payment of debts. My Government are committed to fairness at work and will introduce a national minimum wage.

Legislation will be brought forward to amend criminal law and to combat crime, including reform of the youth justice system and measures against anti-social behaviour. A Bill will be introduced to prohibit the private possession of handguns.

My Government will improve the National Health Service as a service providing care on the basis of need to the whole population. They will bring forward new arrangements for decentralisation and co-operation within the service and for ending the internal market. Legislation will be introduced to clarify the existing powers of NHS trusts to enter into partnerships with the private sector. A White Paper will be published on measures to reduce tobacco consumption, including legislation to ban tobacco advertising.

My Government will contribute to the achievement of high standards of food safety and protection of public health throughout the food chain; will ensure openness and transparency of information to consumers, and will consult widely on recommendations for a Food Standards Agency.

A Bill will be introduced to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the benefits of the National Lottery including for health and education projects.

Measures will be introduced to enable capital receipts from the sale of council houses to be invested in housebuilding and renovation as part of my Government’s determination to deal with homelessness and unemployment.

The Government are committed to open and transparent government. They will introduce a Bill to strengthen data protection controls. They will enhance people’s aspirations for better, more accessible and accountable public services using information technology to the full. A White Paper will be published on proposals for a Freedom of Information Bill.

A Bill will be introduced to incorporate into United Kingdom law the main provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Decentralisation is essential to my Government’s vision of a modern nation. Legislation will be introduced to allow the people of Scotland and Wales to vote in referendums on my Government’s proposals for a devolved Scottish Parliament and the establishment of a Welsh Assembly. If these proposals are approved in the referendums, my Government will bring forward legislation to implement them. Legislation will be introduced to provide for a referendum on a directly elected strategic authority and a directly elected mayor for London. A Bill will be brought forward to establish Regional Development Agencies in England outside London.

In Northern Ireland my Government will seek reconciliation and a political settlement which has broad support, working in co-operation with the Irish Government. They will work to build trust and confidence in Northern Ireland by bringing forward legislation to deal with terrorism and to reduce tension over parades, and other measures to protect human rights, combat discrimination in the workplace, increase confidence in policing and foster economic development.

Members of the House of Commons,

Estimates for the public service will be laid before you.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

In the European Union, my Government will take a leading role. They will seek to promote employment, improve competitiveness, complete the Single Market and opt into the Social Chapter. They will seek further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy to secure lower food prices for consumers and save money, support the rural economy and enhance the environment. They will seek changes to the Common Fisheries Policy to conserve fish stocks in the long-term interest of the UK fishing industry. They will play a full part in the debate about Economic and Monetary Union.

My Government will work for the early and successful enlargement of the European Union. They will pursue an outcome to the Intergovernmental Conference and use their Presidency in the first half of 1998 to strengthen European co-operation while advancing the United Kingdom’s interests and to make the Union more open, democratic and efficient. A Bill will be introduced to amend the European Communities Act if necessary.

My Government will ensure a strong defence based on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and promote international peace and security. They will play a major role in decisions to shape NATO’s future, including enlargement, and to include Russia in a wider security framework. To ensure that the United Kingdom’s defence capabilities are matched to the changing strategic setting, my Government will reassess our essential security interests and defence needs.

My Government will retain strong armed forces, including the nuclear deterrent. Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will be a priority.

My Government will work for reforms to make the United Nations more effective and for an early resolution of its funding crisis. My Government will continue to support peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They will work for a settlement in Cyprus. They will promote efforts for a durable peace in the Middle East.

My Government will work on behalf of Hong Kong’s people to achieve a successful transition which preserves their way of life and promotes their continued stability and prosperity.

Preparations will continue for the G7 Summit to be held in Birmingham and the second Asia-Europe Meeting in London in 1998. My Government will host the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in October 1997 and seize the opportunity to increase co-operation between the United Kingdom and other members of the Commonwealth.

My Government have established a Department for International Development. They will publish a White Paper setting out how, through more coherent policies, they will tackle global poverty and promote sustainable development. They will rejoin the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

My Government will promote open markets around the world, while ensuring that the interests of developing countries and the global environment are fairly reflected.

The promotion of human rights worldwide will be a priority, as will the fight against terrorism, organised crime, money laundering and drug misuse and trafficking at home and abroad.

My Government will seek to restore confidence in the integrity of the nation’s political system by upholding the highest standards of honesty and propriety in public life. They will consider how the funding of political parties should be regulated and reformed.

They will programme House of Commons business to ensure more effective scrutiny of Bills and better use of the time of Members of the House of Commons. During the course of the Session, my Government will also publish in draft for public consultation a number of Bills which they intend to introduce in subsequent Sessions of this Parliament. They will propose the establishment of a new Select Committee of the House of Commons to look at ways of making Parliamentary procedure more effective and efficient.

Other measures will be laid before you.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.