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16
October

UK government outlines policies in Queen’s Speech

On 14 October, the UK government laid out its policies on trade, crime, the environment and Brexit in the Queen’s Speech.

Amongst the 26 bills outlined at Parliament’s State Opening were plans for tougher sentences for violent offenders and targets for cutting plastic pollution.

However, as the government doesn’t have a majority in Parliament, the bills may not become law. Despite continuing Brexit uncertainty, the government has said it is determined to press ahead with its plans and is planning to present the 2019 Autumn Budget on 6 November. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government is focused on ‘seizing the opportunities that Brexit presents’.

The bills unveiled during the Queen’s Speech contained seven pieces of Brexit-related legislation, including plans to establish new frameworks for trade and financial services regulations.

There will be seven criminal justice bills, while an environment bill will set legally binding ‘improvement targets’ to reduce plastic, cut air pollution, restore biodiversity and improve water quality. The government also proposed an overhaul of the rail franchising system in England in order to ‘reduce fragmentation’.

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