The Queen has outlined the UK Government’s programme of laws for the next 12 months.
Announcing the plans in the House of Lords today, she said ministers would use the opportunity of a “strengthening economy” to deliver security for working people, increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and to strengthen national defences.
She also said the Government would continue to bring the public finances under control so Britain lives within its means and to move to a “higher wage and lower welfare economy where work is rewarded”.
Among the proposals being brought forward is a British Bill of Rights, including measures to reform the UK human rights framework and protect against what the Government describes as the misuse of human rights laws.
There are also plans for a Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill to bring in stronger powers to disrupt extremists, although whether the Bill will apply in Scotland is yet to be finalised.
The Queen also emphasised her ministers would continue to work in cooperation with the Holyrood Government to implement the new powers in the Scotland Act.
And the speech underlined the Government’s commitment to build four new nuclear-armed submarines to replace the Vanguard class.
There are also plans for a Digital Economy Bill, which will introduce a new broadband universal service obligation.
This will give all citizens and businesses the legal right to have a fast broadband connection installed.
A reasonable cost threshold above which the most remote properties may be expected to contribute to the cost of installation will be in place, however.
In addition, a new electronic communications code to cut the cost and simplify the building of mobile and superfast broadband infrastructure will be introduced.
The Government expects this will save some £1billion for the communications sector over 20 years, which could be then passed onto the consumer.
Among the other legislation included is the Criminal Finances Bill to enable the Government to recoup more criminal assets by reforming the law on proceeds of crime.