So the Government’s legislative plans for the coming two-year parliamentary session have been announced. The Queen’s Speech outlined 27 bills, of which 8 relate to Brexit. Of course, without an overall majority, it remains to be seen whether the Tories will stay the course.
As for the overall tone of the Queen’s speech, this what Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party said:
“This hollowed out Government has produced a stunningly unambitious Queen’s speech at a time when Britain desperately needs a change of direction. Failing to propose any meaningful plans to tackle climate change is a near-criminal act of political vandalism, and refusing to give our hard pressed NHS workers the pay rise they deserve reveals a Government utterly out of touch. The proposed immigration clampdown sees an increasingly hardline Government doubling down on plans they know will wreck our economy.
“Though climate-deniers in the DUP might be celebrating this Queen’s Speech, it simply isn’t a serious programme of Government. This speech should have included an Environmental Protection Act and a guarantee for EU Nationals that their rights would be protected, but these basic Brexit laws were nowhere to be seen.
“While some proposals in the Queen’s speech deserve praise – in particular plans to help people suffering from mental health problems – the overall picture is one of a Government which has run out of steam, and a Prime Minister who has lost authority.”
For most people, the Government’s programme will be judged by its impact on themselves their communities. On this theme, here is what Neil Cleeveley, Chief Executive of NAVCA had to say about the Queen’s Speech:
“Many in the local voluntary sector will be concerned about what is missing from the Queen’s speech rather than what’s in it. As a society we have major issues to address around inequality and community cohesion. We also face an unprecedented squeeze on the services that local communities rely on such as health and education. Many of our public services are at breaking point and it is local charities that are rooted in local communities to which people turn. There is nothing in this Queen’s speech for them, it is a wasted the opportunity to confront the real issues facing communities across the country.”
“Many warned that Brexit would all consuming for the Government, and so it is proving. It appears the interests local charities and the people and local communities they serve are being pushed into the background.”